Staff at the Coalition for the Homeless headquarters are busy sorting donated toys. Toys that are destined for children living in homeless shelters around the city. Nearly 64,000 New Yorkers are in shelters right now, 23,000 are kids.
"All of those families are trying to pinch their pennies to try and make Christmas for their families, the holidays for their families, so a lot of them when they can have some donated toys, it really brings a lot of relief and a lot of stress off their shoulders,” said Sarah Murphy, Director of Development, Coalition for the Homeless.
It's the 22nd year the Coalition has run a toy drive and they are the nation's oldest advocacy and direct service organization helping the homeless.
Last year the generosity of donors helped them exceed their goal of 9,000 new toys, collecting 14,000. They hope this year's effort, with help of individuals and corporations citywide, will be just as successful. They are asking for toys for children from newborn to 18 years old.
"A lot of times we get a lot of the younger kids getting taken care of, but those older kids, people don't think about them," Murphy added.
To make it easy to donate, the Coalition has a number of places to drop off toys. Donors can also buy one on their Amazon wish list. They are asking for new unwrapped toys.
"We want new toys because we want every kid to have that special feeling when they open it up," Murphy said.
The drive lasts through December 14th, just enough time to make sure thousands of the city's most vulnerable children, will receive a gift for the holidays.
"A lot of times we just see kids coming in here who are just battling a lot of issues, and so that's why we want to be able to give them something nice," said Murphy.
To find out where and how to donate a toy, or to make a monetary donation to support the drive, head to coalitionforthehomeless.org.