NEWTON, NJ - A military transport arrived today at Project Self-Sufficiency with thousands of toys for the Season of Hope toy drive.  Soldiers in dress blues unloaded and organized the toys for the record number of local families who are anticipated to need assistance this holiday season.  The toys were distributed to the Season of Hope toy drive by Toys for Tots, the international toy drive operated by the United States Marine Corps.  Toys for Tots distributed 170,000 toys to northern New Jersey families last year.

First Sergeant Christopher Piazza is the Local Coordinator of the Toys for Tots Foundation in Northern New Jersey, a territory which stretches from the Delaware Water Gap to the Hudson River and as far south as Trenton, New Jersey.  Targeting families who need assistance through organizations like Project Self-Sufficiency is important to the Toys for Tots Foundation.  “We will reach more children that actually need them this year through efforts like the Season of Hope toy drive.”

The Season of Hope Holiday Toy Drive is a consortium of local social service agencies and businesses who have banded together to collect toys and other items for low-income families in Sussex and Northern Warren Counties.  Led by Project Self-Sufficiency, the group includes Charm, the Chatterbox Drive-In, iHeartMedia, Intercar Mercedes Benz, Pass it Along, Selective Insurance Company of America, Skylands Stadium, Sussex County Chamber of Commerce, Sussex Honda, The New Jersey Herald, The Printing Center, and Toys for Tots.  The group hopes to collect more than 20,000 items for distribution to low-income Sussex and northern Warren County families in mid-December. 

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“We are delighted to be partnering with the United States Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program,” noted Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency.  “This is a magical time of year for children, but many parents are struggling to put food on the table, and they do not have the resources to purchase toys.  Teaming up with Toys for Tots and our other partners will offer the gift of hope to many families.”

Those who wish to contribute to the Season of Hope Holiday Toy Drive are encouraged to drop off a new, unwrapped toy at Project Self-Sufficiency.  Gift items will be gratefully received at Project Self-Sufficiency, which is located at 127 Mill Street in Newton, Monday – Thursday, from 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. or Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Additional drop-off sites can be viewed on the Project Self-Sufficiency website, www.projectselfsufficiency.org.  Donations are requested by December 16th in order to allow ample time for the items to be distributed to needy families.   For more information, call Project Self-Sufficiency at 973-940-3500, or visit www.projectselfsufficiency.org.