Easthampton Toy Program to brighten holidays for about 275 families

Last modified: Monday, December 02, 2013
EASTHAMPTON — The holidays will be a little brighter for approximately 275 children in the city thanks to the Easthampton Toy Program, now in its 19th year, which provides toys and other gifts for needy families.

The program provides two toys per child 10 years or younger in each eligible family, plus wrapping paper and tape, so that they have presents to unwrap Christmas morning.

The program is run by Personnel Director Raisa Riggott and Mayoral Assistant and Mayor-elect Karen L. Cadieux in memory of former town administrator John Chmura.

Cadieux said she aims to raise $15,000 each year in donations from city residents, businesses and others for the program. Last year’s donations, which provide the funds to buy this year’s toys, totaled $18,634.

“I’ve already been out shopping 12 times so far,” she said Monday. “I hope to finish shopping this week.”

She estimates that around 275 children will receive the toys, based on the number of families who have called to participate in the past. In some years, as many as 307 children received gifts.

Anyone in need who would like to receive toys from the program should call Cadieux’s office at 529-1470 as soon as possible, she said. The families will pick up the toys Dec. 10, 11 and 12 at the Municipal Building.

Donations of wrapping paper and rolls of tape can be dropped off at the Municipal Building. Checks made payable to the Easthampton Toy Program may be mailed to the Municipal Building, 50 Payson Ave., Easthampton, MA 01027, and cash or checks may be dropped off at the mayor’s office.

Rebecca Everett can be reached at reverett@gazettenet.com.