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Pound Ridge 'Santa' Helps Collect Toys For City Children

Children show gifts they received from City Santas, which donates holiday gifts to needy families in New York and New Jersey.
Children show gifts they received from City Santas, which donates holiday gifts to needy families in New York and New Jersey. Photo Credit: Contributed

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. -- Pound Ridge residents are working hard to collect toys for New York City's less fortunate children this Christmas season.

City Santas started 23 years ago by three friends, including Pound Ridge resident Benedict Bisordi. Since then, the group has been collecting and distributing toys to shelters, hospitals, and community centers in Bronx, Harlem and Newark.

The project started with the three men distributing toys and Happy Meals to 30 needy Bronx children. The group has now donated more 2,000 gifts to eight centers in New York and New Jersey each of the past several years.

City Santas chaperone "Santa" and his gifts to the appreciative children. Santa, with the help of his elves, hands out toys to more than 1,300 children in two days.Through monetary donations, City Santas has provided improvement to various recreation centers and libraries at Foundling Hospital and Crotona/HELP.

City Santas is a 100 percent grass roots organization and does not have corporate sponsors, offices or administrative fees. Everyone volunteers their own time, vehicles, staging locations, meals and lots of love in order to make it all happen.

‘It is so worth the time and effort to see the glow on these kids’ faces when Santa comes to visit them and spend time with them. Some of the centers welcome Santa with a dance show and/or Christmas Songs -- it is really fun and very inspiring,'' Bisordi said. "My friends and I, 20 something years ago, just figured we should do something for the less fortunate at Christmas. It just kept growing each year, and we really affect a lot of families now, in a very simple fashion. I am always surprised and humbled by the generosity of people."

People interested in helping with a donation can donate new or unwrapped gifts up until Friday Dec 13. The gift needs range from infant to 14 years. The drop spot in Pound Ridge is at Lil Beans Toys, 74 Westchester Ave pound Ridge (behind blind Charlie's) 914-764-3777.

People interested in learning more can contact Bisordi  at 914-673-2248. More information is also available on the attached PDF.

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