We all can agree that 2020 has been quite a year. I find such joy in seeing all of the light and positivity that has been spread around the world during this time. It seems that some people have taken upon themselves to be kind or go the extra mile to make someone’s day.

During the holidays, I take it upon myself to choose a paper ornament off the tree at my local church. The idea behind this idea highlights on providing presents to less fortunate children in the Hudson Valley. This paper ornament contains the age, the gift idea and size of the child. I find great joy in shopping for this child and getting fun and exciting gifts to brighten their Christmas.

Other great organizations here in the Hudson Valley are the Toys for Tots Foundation and Operation Toy Train.

Operation Toy Train is a nonprofit organization that has been up and running since 2009. This train starts in December and heads through the southern part of New York and into northern New Jersey. Operation Toy Train takes pride in collecting donated toys for less fortunate children for the US Marine Corps, Toys for Tots Foundation. Typically, every year, they estimate that they collect well over 25,000 toys. Woohoo!

Due to the pandemic, the train will not run this year but they have all intentions of returning in 2021. Even though the train won’t be up and running, this does not stop the season of giving. The train’s favorite passenger, Santa Claus is still available to spread his Christmas cheer!

Operation Toy Train and Santa came up with the idea of visiting with kids through Zoom this year, thank God for technology. :)

Not only will children get the chance to virtually hang out with Santa but the donations will go towards buying and then donating toys for children in need for the Toys for Tots Foundation.

What are you waiting for? Book your Zoom call with Santa right now and bring the holiday spirit to your house! This Zoom call includes a live, 5 minute joy filled conversation.

In addition to virtual Santa visits, the Toys for Tots Foundation are collecting donated toys another way this year. DonateAToy has joined in to be a part of the magic of Christmas here in the Hudson Valley. They are working with not only New York residents but New Jersey as well. Simply, make your donation to Toys for Tots and then DonateAToy will then match that donation with another one. This way, there will be 2 toys instead of 1 with this collection, the more the merrier!

In addition to a donated toy, there is also the option make a monetary donation. Any donation is appreciated to make this holiday season special for so many children.

You can make your donation online or via checks. Donations made with Operation Toy Train are tax deductible.

For more information, check out the following links and addresses below.

To make donations:

Operation Toy Train

146 Hillside Drive

Dingmans Ferry, PA 18328

To book a virtual visit with Santa:

Happy Donating and cheers to the season of giving!


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