YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY – Yorktown Supervisor Elect Matt Slater took advantage of Operation Toy Drop to teach his four year old son Charlie the importance of helping those in need. Operation Toy Drop, which is organized and hosted by the J.I.M.M.Y. Foundation, collects and delivers toys to kids at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. The Yorktown Heights Firehouse on Commerce Street was one of the collection points.
“The Holiday Season is just as much about giving as receiving,” Slater said. “Operation Toy Drop is a great program that helps bring some holiday joy to children who are very sick. I thank the Yorktown Heights Fire District and the J.I.M.M.Y. Foundation for giving our community the opportunity of helping some very special kids.”
This marks the sixth year the J.I.M.M.Y. Foundation has led the effort to collect toys which are then brought by helicopter by Santa Clause to kids at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla. This year Santa is scheduled to arrive on December 13th. The last day to drop off toys at the Yorktown Fire Department is Monday, December 9th from 6:30PM to 9:00PM.
The Just Imagine Making Miracles Yours organization was started in 2006 in memory of James “Jimmyboy” Arena by his parents, Jim and Gina Arena of Somers. Jimmyboy was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of four and succumbed to brain cancer at the age of six. The organization helps families by taking monetary donations and assists by paying various bills for families struggling with a child facing a life threatening illness and/or injuries within Westchester and Putnam Counties.
“This event brings joy to children who are being treated in the hospital during the holidays,” said Gina Arena. “Part of why we continue this every year is because we know how it feels to be in this situation, and in Jimmy’s memory my husband, my children and I can do something magical that can lighten the moment and bring love and joy to these children and their families. This journey is a tough enough “club” to be in and with the help of the community that took care of our family, we can bring the true meaning of this time of year to the less fortunate children. We live in an awesome community, and I know Jimmy is with us all the way. Share the magic, be the love and believe.”
Collection points included the Cross County Locksmith in Somers, Heritage Fuel & Propane in Croton Falls, the Katonah Fire Department, Bedford Village Fire Department, Bedford Hills Fire Department and the Yorktown Heights Volunteer Fire Department.
“It is great to see the community get behind such a great cause,” Yorktown Fire Commissioner Martin McGannon said. “The toys go a long way for the kids.”