Charity Store Gives Sandy Victims Holiday Gifts in 2nd Year

By Nicholas Rizzi on December 7, 2013 11:58am 

 Where to Turn will once again open a store to give free holiday gifts to Hurricane Sandy victims on Staten Island.
Where to Turn will once again open a store to give free holiday gifts to Hurricane Sandy victims on Staten Island.
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Flickr/Jennifer C.

ARDEN HEIGHTS — A nonprofit will open a charity store on Saturday to give Christmas and Hanukkah gifts to Hurricane Sandy victims.

Where to Turn will set up a temporary gift store on Arthur Kill Road, where Sandy victims can pick out gifts for the holidays.

"A lot of families are still in [a] precarious financial situation," said Dennis McKeon, executive director of Where to Turn. "It comes down to this time of year and people don't have excess money for gifts."

Last year, McKeon set up a store in Great Kills, where volunteers gave out nearly 8,000 toys to families across Staten Island.

This year, McKeon teamed up with Michael Sciaraffo, founder of the Secret Sandy Claus Project, which delivers gifts to families recovering from Sandy, and they hope to give out 15,000 toys this year.

Residents with a FEMA ID number and a proof of their address can come to the store and get two free toys per child.

The store, at 1547 Arthur Kill Road, will be opened from Saturday until Christmas Eve, and people can donate toys there too.

This year, McKeon has also asked for donated gift cards or movie tickets so teenagers have something for the holidays.

"Unfortunately, we don't have a lot for the teenagers," he said. "At least we can give them something."

The store will be open daily from noon until 7 p.m. Donations can be made at the store or by mail to Where to Turn, 150-L Greaves Ln. #312, Staten Island N.Y., 10308.

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