Kids in need receive gifts from UES Mutual Aid's holiday 'toy store'/Meryl Jacobs for Upper East Site
Kids in need receive gifts from UES Mutual Aid's holiday 'toy store' | Meryl Jacobs for Upper East Site

UES Toy Drive Spreads Holiday Cheer to Kids in Need 🆓

ADVERTISEMENT • REMOVE ADS

As sleigh bells begin to ring, Upper East Siders can give back to the community by donating toys to families in need, with just a few easy clicks. UES Mutual Aid’s third annual toy drive is kicking off, collecting play sets and figurines to make sure every child can feel the holiday cheer.

“It’s a way for us to show a sense of abundance to kids,” said Patrick Boblin, one of UES Mutual Aid‘s lead organizers. He explained that a lot of the abundance in the city doesn’t often “trickle down” to children. The toy drive “allows us to share who we are, and that there is an excess in our community, with kids and with families.”

ADVERTISEMENT • REMOVE ADS

Neighbors can visit the UES Mutual Aid’s Amazon wishlist, and choose from 150 Lego sets, music toys, and art kits, as well as Dinosaur Pull Back Cars and Candy Land board games. All toys retail for under $20, with several under $10.

Candyland games available at UES Mutual Aid 'toy store'/Meryl Jacobs for Upper East Site
Candyland games were available at UES Mutual Aid ‘toy store’ in years past | Meryl Jacobs for Upper East Site

Once you’ve chosen what you wish to donate, select ‘Patrick Bobilin’s Gift Registry Address’ under the ‘other addresses’ section and proceed to checkout as normal.

On December 23rd, the organization will put on a volunteer-staffed ‘free toy store’ at the Church of the Holy Trinity, at East 88th Street between First and Second Avenues, where parents can bring their children aged four to 12 to ‘shop’ for a gift.

ADVERTISEMENT • REMOVE ADS

ALSO READ | Upper East Side Holiday Tree Lightings Set for Sunday

Bobilin’s most treasured memories of the holiday toy drives are “when a kid comes in with an initial wide-eyed excitement seeing the abundance of toys, and then has a tough time deciding which they want because we’ve got enough good options because the community has donated so much.”

ADVERTISEMENT • REMOVE ADS

In years past, UES Mutual Aid has received so many donations that some leftover toys were donated to the church’s own collection, though it’s never been more than a few.

UES Mutual Aid Network posed with toys before its annual giveaway | Meryl Jacobs for Upper East Site
UES Mutual Aid Network posed with toys before its annual giveaway | Meryl Jacobs for Upper East Site

“We’ve always sort of closed up shop early because we’ve run out of toys,” Bobilin said.

ADVERTISEMENT • REMOVE ADS

UES Mutual Aid, which performs other initiatives like street clean-ups, snow shoveling, and bread handouts, aims to connect those in the neighborhood with each other to provide long-term solidarity and a helping hand.

“There are a lot of ways that this network has helped people and will continue to help people,” the Upper East Sider explained.

Families enjoy refreshments at UES Mutual Aid's 'toy store'/Meryl Jacobs for Upper East Site
Families enjoy refreshments at UES Mutual Aid’s ‘toy store’ | Meryl Jacobs for Upper East Site

Donations are being accepted until December 10th, so click here to browse the wishlist.

“I just hope that families of all backgrounds not only contribute but also come by,” Bobilin said. Neighbors and kids of all ages can volunteer as ‘elves’ to serve juice, donuts and coffee to those coming to shop. To sign up as a volunteer, message UES Mutual Aid on Instagram.

ALSO READ | ‘Lawless’ E-Bike Riders Have Upper East Side Neighbors Demanding Police Action

Bobilin stressed that there’s no better way to have an impact in your community than to engage with a UES Mutual Aid Initiative.

“It’s my favorite community experience of the year.”

Follow Upper East Site on InstagramX, Threads & Facebook

Suggest a Correction
——
Copyright 2024 Upper East Site. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, broadcast, or redistributed.

ADVERTISEMENT • REMOVE ADS
ADVERTISEMENT • REMOVE ADS
ADVERTISEMENT • REMOVE ADS
ADVERTISEMENT • REMOVE ADS
ADVERTISEMENT • REMOVE ADS
A woman was sexually assaulted inside an Upper East Side subway station two days after the same suspect attacked a child | Upper East Site, NYPD

Sexual Assault Suspect Strikes Again, Targets Woman Inside UES Subway Station

Dozens of Upper East Siders have formed search parties and fanned out across the neighborhood to find Rosie, who has been missing since Saturday | Shira Meged, Upper East Site

Neighbors Assist in Dogged Pursuit of Missing UES Goldendoodle