UNION COUNTY, NJ---The Ryan Patrick Faella Foundation is holding its 20th annual toy collection drive this winter with drop-off locations throughout the state, and an in-person drop-off at Suspenders in Union on Saturday, December 12th.

Ryan’s Toy Roundup was started in memory of Ryan Patrick Faella, a 13-year-old boy from Mountainside, who had an incredible energy, an infectious smile, and a kind heart.

Ryan, who passed away suddenly in the summer of 2000, loved life, sports, and most of all, his family and friends. In order to honor Ryan’s life, Ryan’s Toy Roundup was founded as a major event of the Ryan Patrick Faella Foundation to channel his love through each toy donation, so that his memory lives on through a child who may experience a happier holiday, according to Ryan’s parents, Al and Mary Faella.

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In the past 20 years, more than 13,000 toys have been collected in Ryan’s memory. What started as a one-person operation by his aunt, Claire Duffy, has grown exponentially. It now includes family, friends, and communities throughout Union County and the state, collecting and planning toy drive events. Special thanks to the Union County Freeholder Board, Mayor Chris Bollwage and the City of Elizabeth for their support throughout the years.

This year more than ever, toys are needed to be distributed throughout Union County and elsewhere in the state. Some benefactors in Union County include Trinitas Hospital, St. Joseph’s Outreach Center in the City of Elizabeth, and many others.

Ryan’s cousins, Elizabeth Firefighters, Eddie and Nick, and Erin Sisk, have organized a toy drop off at Suspenders in Union, on Saturday, December 12 from 1 to 6 p.m. The public is invited to drop off unwrapped gifts or gift cards.

For those who would like to contribute, donations can be dropped off at the following collection locations Monday through Friday during normal working hours throughout the holiday season:

  • Union County Administration Building -10 Elizabethtown Plaza, Elizabeth
  • DJ’s Limousine Service, 12 North Avenue, Garwood, NJ 07027
  • Mountainside Borough Hall, 1385 Route 22
  • Co-sponsor, New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NJSHA), will also be collecting at the following sites.  New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association
    • Brave Wings Therapy, 1211 Hamburg Turnpike, Suite 224 Wayne
    • Speech Hearing Associates
      • 225 Bridge St., Metuchen
      • 121 S. Euclid Ave., Westfield
      • 590 Anderson Ave., Cliffside Park
      • 3155 Route 10, Suite 212, Denville
      • 275 Paterson Ave., Little Falls
      • 784 Chimney Rock Road, Suite E, Martinsville
      • 74 Pascack Road, Unit 7, Park Ridge
      • 556 Eagle Rock Ave., Suite 105, Roseland
      • 150 Flanagan Way, Secaucus

For more information about the Ryan Patrick Faella Foundation, please go to www.ryanfaellafoundation.org or look us up on Facebook.