The Make A Child Smile Toy And Food Drive Spreads Holiday Cheer

Sabrina Grossman, Contributing Writer

The annual Make A Child Smile Toy and Food Drive to help Port Washington kids in need is back this year.  The event started on Nov. 21 and will run until Dec. 19.  Toys, food, or money are acceptable donations.  This is the twenty-first year of Make A Child Smile, and it is sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and Police District Liaison Detective Anthony Guzzello.  

Detective Guzzello, better known as Officer Tony, has visited our schools many times.

“I started the Make A Child Smile Holiday Toy Drive to help others in our community. Thanks to the Chamber of Commerce for once again joining with me for this wonderful community event,” said Officer Tony in a Facebook post.

Donated toys need to be new and should not be wrapped.  Food donations must be non-perishable, and cash donations should be made to the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce Toy Fund.  Checks should be mailed to the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce.  Cash donations will be used to buy toys and food. The food donations will go to Our Lady of Fatima Church.

“The purpose of the program was to help make the holidays brighter for less fortunate children who live in our community,” said Bobbie Polay, executive director of the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce. 

This is one of the Schreiber Key Club’s events and is an excellent opportunity to “make a child smile” this holiday season.  Many children go hungry each year, but community members can help them.  Toy donations will go to children who do not receive presents during the holidays.

“It is so heartwarming to see the response of the community every year.  It has become a holiday ritual for many local families to shop for toys and food for this program and for our members to collect the donations.  Those of us who are involved in this program are grateful that the program can continue to bring joy to local children, even during the pandemic,” said Polay.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, gifts will not be given out at the usual charity holiday parties, but they will still be distributed to these families.

“It’s definitely important to donate food and clothes because so many people have been hit so hard by this disease.  People have lost their jobs and are forced to stay at home and they may not be able to afford these necessary items.  It’s the job of those who are more fortunate to help those who need it,” said junior Kayla Caplin.  

There are numerous places in our community to drop off the donations, including 3V Dental, Alper’s Hardware, Anthony’s World of Floors, Attelia Baby, Bach to Rock, Bluetique, Campbell’s Carpet, Daniel Gale Real Estate, Delux Transportation, Diane’s Place Hair Salon, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Falconer Florist, Happy Montessori School, Healthy Kids Pediatrics, Massage Envy Spa, Mathnasium, PW Federal Credit Union, Sullivan’s Quay, Unlimited Sports Action, Waterzooi, Wright Music, and Yummy Gyro.  There is also a donation box at Schreiber.