Thank you for supporting this year’s Toy Drive!

January 10, 2014

Dear Friends of the Cypress Hills Child Corporation:

Happy New Year!

Thanks to your continued support of Cypress Hills Child Care Corporation’s Toy Drive. With your help, we were able deliver toys and treats for over 550 children. I/we always fear that the names in our list will exceed the donations we receive but I am happy to report that every child on the list including siblings, a few senior citizens and Jeffrey received lovely gifts. Thirty-five families received $35.00 food gift certificates and twenty-five children received warm coats, gloves and hats in addition to their toys. We also adopted two families in need some magical intervention.

Here are some highlights of our twenty-second unconventional and truly magical Toy Drive! 

A big thank you to Adriana Mediavilla, a Head Start alumna, who started the Holiday season with a November “fun” fundraiser at the Public House in NYC. The proceeds of event funded the children’s Holiday Celebration on December 20. The event, which took place at the Blessed Sacrament gym, included both Head Start and the Center’s children and their families.  We had a live children’s band, food and treats galore, art and crafts activities, face painting and a special visit from Santa. Adriana coordinated the event and had over a dozen volunteers help make it a success. The children (and their parents) had WONDERFUL time and each child left with toys and books to place under the tree. One three-year-old whispered in Santa’s ear before leaving “ it is so nice to meet you, this is the best day of my life”!

A special Holiday shout out to:


To the friends of the CHCCC, our amazing Santa’s helpers, that every year  include our drive in their Holiday gift giving. They have been instrumental in keeping our toy drive alive for the past 22 years.

Pedro Valentine, a twenty-two year Toy Drive veteran, who never forgets the children of his old neighborhood.

To Caroline Valentine, who is five years old, and is following in her father’s footsteps. She wrote us a letter (with her father’s help), stating that she had everything she needed and that she wanted her Dad to give her special gift to go to a needy girl her age! We made the match.

To Emily Van Ingen who created a Toy Drive Amazon Wish List and to her remarkable friends who purchased every item on the list.

Sirus Fund whose generous donation that enabled us purchase the food checks.

Martin Dunn, of Dunn Development

We R One Brooklyn Bike Club

Honorable Marty Markowitz

First Book Club

Guido Arquello, the CHCCC Santa

Marisela Sotovilla and her team at Citibank

To the many East New York UPS drivers and who selected the CHCCC to be the recipient of their United Way contributions.

The Seniors at the Cypress Hills/East NY Senior Center who collected toys for the drive

To our very generous Board Members

To the CHCCC staff who never complain about how crowded our office becomes in December and who dedicate many lunch hours to wrapping/labeling gifts with the help of some amazing Head Start parents.

Maria Rodriguez, the Rudolph of the toy drive, who coordinated all the delivery routes and provided detailed maps to facilitate the elves and reindeer’s travels.

To the dedicated Elves and Reindeer that rain or shine sleet or snow, donate their time to help deliver hundreds of packages on Christmas Eve.


Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus, he exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Francis Church

The spirit of this message is alive in the many good people that make our Toy Drive a reality. I consider myself privileged to call them my friends.

Maria Contreras Collier

Director CHCCC