BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - In the spirit of giving, families arrived to Mt. Carmel's Breakfast Buffet last Sunday to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus bearing gifts to donate to less fortunate children for the Mt. Carmel Annual Toy Drive.  

The Breakfast Buffet with Santa and Mrs. Claus was enjoyed by more than 400 guests at Mt. Carmel Hall. The room was transformed into a beautiful scene from Santa's Village and the North Pole with lantern lights with big velvet bows and balloons. 

“We can get  caught up in the day-to-day things we have to do,” said Lori Nelson. “This is what it’s really about, bringing the community together, celebrating together. It’s a good feeling.”

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It's a time to slow down and enjoy the spirit of the holiday and be a believer.  As the children lined up to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, they placed an unwrapped toy on the table of gifts for the Mt. Carmel Toy Drive.

Members of the Mt. Carmel Society began the Toy Drive as a neighborhood tradition to collect toys for the Children's Specialized Hospital in Mountainside and local families who have fallen upon hard times.  The neighbors would come out to support the annual Toy Drive.  Over the years, the Toy Drive has grown to be one of the largest gift providers to Children's Specialized Hospital said Jim Delia, President of Mt. Carmel Society.

"A lot of our families are blessed, so to teach our kids the lesson of giving back to those in need, is a valuable lesson," said Suzanne Honey. 

The Mt. Carmel Society would like to give special thanks to the following community organizations for their continued support: Westminster Presbyterian Church; Investor Savings Bank; Berkeley Heights YMCA and Berkeley Aquatic.
Mt. Carmel Society was created over 100 years ago in Berkeley Heights and currently has approximately 300 members with 100 active.  They promote the ideals of good citizenship and mutual welfare, often behind generous contributions to the community.