The Guilderland Central School District’s Teaching Assistants Unit has held it annual toy drive for 11 years now and donated more than 5,000 toys to children in need. Christine Govin
GUILDERLAND — It’s a lovely toy story that continues to bring joy to children in need around the Capital District.
The Guilderland Central School District’s Teaching Assistants Unit are holding their 11th annual Holiday Toy Drive through Dec. 6; drop-off boxes are available in each school’s lobby.
Anyone can donate new toys, games, books, wrapping paper, bows, ribbons and tape. The TA Unit has around 120 members and the toy drive is also run by volunteers.
Christine Govin, the unit’s president for two years now, said the donations will first be delivered to Georgianna Pennacchia, president of the Schenectady-based St. Madeleine Sophie Food Pantry, on Dec. 6.
Govin said the donations will then be distributed to kids, all aged 12 and under, awaiting foster care at St. Catherine’s Center in Albany for a party with them.
“We want to do something for our community and those kids don’t have a home for the holidays so this drive really benefits them,” Govin said. “Also, whatever toys that were not donated to the party will get taken to other local families.”
In an email to Spotlight News, Govin wrote that such remaining toys would be given to children from around 150 local families who are in need.
When asked if the annual toy drive has ever seen too few or too many toys being donated, she said, “I don’t have an exact record in front of me about how much has been donated overall but I don’t think there can be too many toys.”
According to her, around 700 toys were delivered in 2017 and more than 800 were donated in 2018. While there is no exact number goal of toys each year, Govin said, “I would say that for sure, every year since the beginning, we’ve had over 500 toys donated each year. So, 500 times 11 [which equals 5,500 toys] is what we have definitely done at least so far.”
Before becoming the unit’s president, Govin said she had been its vice-president two years prior and has been a teaching assistant for eight years now.