It’s Christmastime and the Lighthouse Mission of Bellport is severely in need of toy donations for this year’s holiday toy drive, with only about 300 collected thus far.
Each year the organization sets up Santa’s workshop, so to speak, inside the Kreamer Street Elementary gymnasium, servicing over 500 South Country School District families, most with multiple children.
This year Pastor Jim Ryan expects to assist well over 1,500 underprivileged local children and teenagers. He said though the community always seems to provide, there is always a large need for teenaged donations.
“When people donate, they always seem to think of the little guys,” he said, hoping those looking to drop off will think of the teenagers.
An uncountable number of toys have been donated in years past, often allowing each shopping parent to bring home at least two toys per child, with items ranging from teddy bears, dolls and games to bikes and more.
“We have trucks outside, so every time a table gets low we keep hauling them in,” he said. “It’s a really amazing event for the parents, who are able to go shopping without the price tag.”
This year’s event will take place at the elementary school on Dec. 20 at 5 p.m., accompanied by entertainment and refreshments. Everyone in the South Country School District is welcome, at no cost, but must attend through a social worker and/or the Lighthouse Mission.
All donations can be dropped off at the mission located on Montauk Highway in Bellport during regular business hours up until Christmas Day. Also, winter coat donations are always needed throughout the year.