VERONA, NJ - For almost 20 years, Verona High School students have been collecting toys and delivering them to schools in Newark. Last year, with the help of H.B. Whitehorne families, the toy drive generated over 650 gifts.

This year's toy drive has already started and will benefit both the Hawkins Street School and Salomé Ureña Elementary School (formerly North 10th Street School).  This year VHS students will be visiting both schools to drop off toys for students.

Gifts should cost approximately $10 to $15 and be wrapped with a Post-it Note or gift tag indicating what the item is; whether it is appropriate for a boy, girl or either gender; the age for which the toy would be appropriate (pre-K to 4th grade). Donations can be left on the bench just outside of the main office at HBW or in the main lobby at VHS.

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The Hawkins Street School has a total of 359 students, 172 of which are boys and 189 are girls. Salomé Ureña Elementary School, which includes pre-K classes as well, has 348 students, of which 189 boys and 159 girls. 

“The children are so appreciative and for many, it may be the only gift they will receive, like one girl who asked if she could wait to open it until Christmas so she would have something to open that day,” says Jonathan Thai, the VHS teacher who coordinates the student toy drive. “So tonight or this weekend, while you are out shopping, please consider buying a toy or two for the children of Hawkins Street School in Newark.”