NEWTON, NJ - Students at Newton High School are busy gathering toys in support of the Season of Hope toy drive, a community-wide effort which aims to gather 10,000 new and unwrapped items for children of all ages.  The gifts will be distributed to families in Sussex and Northern Warren Counties this month. 

Toys can be dropped off at Project Self-Sufficiency in Newton or at any drop-off site located throughout the area. 

Sussex County Freeholder Richard Vohden and his wife, Faith Vohden, stopped by Newton High School recently to check on the progress of the toy drive.  The Vohdens are serving as chairpersons of the Season of Hope toy drive for the second year. “Even though the counties in northwestern New Jersey are perceived as being relatively affluent, we have so many children in this area that would receive no gifts at all this Christmas without this toy drive,” commented Richard Vohden.  “Christmas is not only about receiving.  It is about giving to our friends, our family and our neighbors.”

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Toys for Sussex County children of all ages are needed for the Season of Hope holiday toy drive, which is a joint effort by Project Self-Sufficiency, Pass it Along, the New Jersey Herald, Clear Channel Radio, Mugs Media, Sussex Honda and Intercar Mercedes Benz.  In addition to new and unwrapped toys, the donation of gift cards, wrapping paper, gift bags, gift boxes and stocking stuffers are always appreciated.

Hope Leone, a senior at Newton High School, serves as the President of the Newton High School chapter of Pass it Along, the non-profit agency which partners with Project Self-Sufficiency in conducting the toy drive.  “We as a chapter are focused on giving back to our community.”  The fact that assisting with the toy drive offers local teens the opportunity to help local children is a key reason why the students wanted to help with the initiative.  “It is really important to work within our own county, especially where youth are concerned.  It’s important to get our peers involved because it will really benefit them, as well as benefiting others.”

Gift items can be dropped off at Project Self-Sufficiency, which is located at 127 Mill St. in Newton, Monday – Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; additional drop-off sites are located throughout the area.  Donations are requested by Dec. 16 in order to allow ample time for the items to be distributed to needy families. 

For information about the Season of Hope Holiday Toy Drive, call Project Self-Sufficiency at (973) 940-3500 or visit