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Westport Moms Collect Holiday Gifts For Staten Island Teens

These are some of the holiday gift items that have so far been collected for Staten Island teens through a collection drive organized by three Westport women.
These are some of the holiday gift items that have so far been collected for Staten Island teens through a collection drive organized by three Westport women. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTPORT, Conn. – Westporters Lisa Fierro, Nell Bernegger and Veronica Hofstetter are on a mission to make the holiday season a little more cheerful for teens living in Staten Island, which was devastated by Hurricane Sandy in October.

The trio is collecting new toys and gifts for 12- to 17-year-olds through Friday. Hoping to collect 1,100 gifts, they are asking the community for help.

“We have learned that there is a huge need for toys and holiday gifts for kids 12 to 17 years old," Fierro, Bernegger and Hofstetter wrote in a letter to family and friends. "Toys for Tots and other groups focus on kids 11 years old and younger. We want to fill the gap."

Fierro, Bernegger and Hofstetter are seeking new, unwrapped gifts in the $20 to $25 range. Some gift ideas include: Basketballs, soccer balls, footballs, makeup and/or nail polish sets, pillow pets (animals only), pampering and body care items, teenage/family-targeted games, popular books for teens, and any other items in that price range that appeals to kids between 12 and 17 — except gift cards.

The gifts will be distributed to Staten Island families with teens with help from the Staten Island Recovery Team, the New York Police Department Youth Services division, the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau and the New York City mayor’s office.

“We look forward to making this gift drive bring smiles to a thousand or more teens,” Fierro, Bernegger and Hofstetter wrote in their letter.

Donations can be dropped off at Fierro’s home, 8 Brookside Drive, located off North Compo Road. It is asked that gifts be placed in the covered area under the arches.

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