On Thursday, December 14, Coldwell Banker Realty at 711 N Dupont Blvd held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the expansion of their Milford office. The celebration was also the culmination of a toy drive the agency holds each year for Milford School District.
“We have done this the past few years,” Terri Favata, who organized the toy drive several years ago, said. “We collect toys starting in November and then turn them over to Milford School District to give to needy children. We are so grateful for all the people who donated toys so that children who may not have any gifts for Christmas. One woman goes to Boscov’s and just brings in bags and bags of things for this event.”
Jo Schmeiser, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford who also participates in the toy drive, said the event began as a Holiday Stocking Suffer campaign. The Chamber stuffed 300 stockings each year and asked members to bring 300 of the same items for the stockings.
“It was getting difficult to find 300 of each item,” Ms. Schmeiser said. “We would go clean out Dollar Tree, Walmart, Family Dollar of their pencils, crayons and other items for the stocking. One year, Terri was there, and she suggested that, instead of a stocking stuffer, we conduct a toy drive. Coldwell Banker took it over and has run the toy drive ever since.”
Over the years, Coldwell Banker has provided toys for hundreds of Milford School District Children. Craig Warrington, the Homeless Liaison for Milford School District, stated that a child who does not have a permanent address is classified as homeless with the district. Warrington said that the district tries to provide additional services to those students in an effort to transition them into permanent housing.
“We collect more than just toys during this event,” Ms. Schmeiser said. “We take anything. There are a lot of families in Milford with grandparents raising young children. In those situations, grandparents often do without so that the children can have what they need, especially during the holidays. Although we promote this as a toy drive, we also accept gloves, hats and clothing for all age levels, from birth to adulthood. We want to provide as much assistance as we can.”
The items collected will go to many children in Milford School District, not just those that are homeless. The district is very grateful for the support of businesses, organizations and individuals who provide not only the necessities that the children need, but also items designed to bring them joy during the holiday season.
Anyone who wants to collect or donate items to assist Milford School District students should call Warrington at 302-424-6470 or 302-384-4669.
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