Big Brooklyn Holiday Toy Drive Party Tonite!

By Genia Gould

A tremendous grassroots effort has been underway in Greenpoint/Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in the last few weeks, addressing the issue of the holidays coming up, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, with the goal of delivering holiday cheer and toys to families with children adversely affected by the storm.

The businesses spearheading the toy drive called the “Big Brooklyn Holiday Toy Drive” are New York Shitty, Mousey Brown Salon, East River Ferry, Red Star Bar, WG News + Arts, and local leaders, Assemblyman Joe Lentol, and Council Member Stephen Levin.

Several dozen businesses have partnered with the Big Toy Drive, with contributions of impressive raffle prizes, as well as offering their shops as drop-off locations. Organizers are still determining distribution points (your ideas are welcome).

Meredith Chesney, of Mousey Brown Salon–a drop-off location (723 Lorimer St)–describes two different moms with their kids in tow, who stopped by her shop recently to donate: “It’s the little kids who like to hand the toys over to the receptionist. I think, kids helping kids is really key,” she said. “They get how special it is to have something to play with that’s new, and clean, and neat, and to help another kid.”

The collection of toys continues through December 16th. Drop-off locations are listed at the end of the story. A party extravaganza, the official kickoff for the toy drive, features dozens of prizes to be raffled through the evening (including a three-day cruise), DJs and “flowing booze and complimentary finger foods.” Make note, it is happening Tuesday, December 4th, from 7 – 10pm, at the Red Star Bar (37 Greenpoint Ave–also a toy drop-off point).

 There’s still time to participate!

Raffle items are being accepted through Tuesday, Dec 4th.  To contribute a prize to the raffle, or to volunteer your shop to serve as a drop-off location, please visit the Big Toy Drive’s Facebook Page: Big Brooklyn Holiday Toy Drive.

Monies collected from the raffle will be used to purchase additional toys.

TOYS SHOULD BE: New, unwrapped toys for kids age 0-14.  (The toys for the party are recommended to be of $20 value minimum.) But no toys would be turned away from the boxes, of course.

PARTY RAFFLE PRIZES:

Turnstile Tours–two tickets for their Food Cart or Immigrant Foodways tour
Eastern District–gift certificate
Miss Wit Designs–two small packages of assorted tees
L Magazine–subscription
t.b.d.–one bottle of Jameson; one bottle of Absolut
Top of the Rock–year subscription
Nitehawk Cinema–private midnight screening for two with food and drink
Red Star Bar–$100 gift card; “Dinner with Chef Corey”: 4-7 course meal paired with beer, wine or cocktails for you and 10 friends
Fabbrica Restaurant and Bar–dinner for two with a bottle of wine
Anonymous donor–3 night cruise in Mexico, Bahamas, or Caribbean (airfare included)
Brooklyn Roasting Company–private coffee tasting for 6 with tasty treats
King and Grove Hotel–2 pool passes
Mousey Brown Salon–haircut & Pureology hair care gift box
Calyer Restaurant–$75 gift card
Anella Restaurant–$75 gift card
The Corner Barber–haircut, hot shave, American Crew Dopp Kit
East River Ferry–one year ferry pass
Bldg 92–two Bldg 92 tour passes
Theatre at St. Clements–two tickets to see “Let’s Kill Grandma This Christmas”
WG News + Arts–1/2 half page ad

TOY DROP OFF LOCATIONS:
Bldg 92: 63 Flushing Ave
Red Star Bar: 37 Greenpoint Ave
Eastern District: 1053 Manhattan Ave
The Corner Barber: 144 Bedford Ave
Mousey Brown Salon: 723 Lorimer St
East River Ferry boats
FDNY engine 238 Ladder 108: 205 Greenpoint Ave
Moon River Chattel: 62 Grand St
Brooklyn Roasting Co: 25 Jay St
Sweetleaf in Long Island City: 10-93 Jackson Ave
Polonia Democratic Club: 140 Grand St
Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital: 365 7th Ave, Park Slope
Nitehawk Cinema: 146 Metropolitan Ave
t.b.d.: 224 Franklin St