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PHS toy drive yields an abundance of gifts for kids

Toys gathered during the PHS toy drive


Though COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the “Cocoa, Cookies and Caroling” event to mark the end of Poughkeepsie High School’s first annual toy drive to support the John Flowers Christmas Wish, it couldn’t stop the donations.

Principal Kelleyann Royce-Giron said staff from throughout the district made contributions.

Some of the gifts donated to the PHS toy drive in support of John Flowers Christmas Wish in Principal Kelleyann Royce-Giron's office.

“From gift cards to board games to clothing and everything in between, we collected it all,” Royce-Giron said. “We’re going to put a lot of smiles on the City of Poughkeepsie children’s faces.” There were 106 toys and gifts donated. Some are still coming in.

“I got an email from Early Learning Center Principal Colleen Hardiman who said they had items leftover from a Vassar College donation and she is bringing them over.” “I couldn’t be happier about the support we received,” she said.

Previous toy drives at PHS, done in conjunction with the JROTC program, benefitted the Toys for Tots program. This is the first year the drive is associated with Christmas Wish.

Royce-Giron was disappointed at having to cancel the “Cocoa, Cookies and Caroling,” which was designed to celebrate turning over all the donated items to Christmas Wish and spread some holiday cheer among the adults. Instead, Royce-Giron and volunteers will be loading up her truck and bringing them to Santa’s workshop for distribution.

Because students and staff haven’t widely been in the buildings, it was mainly a staff and adult-driven event. “Next year we will expand it. When we are in-house, we will put it out to the children and their families. If they want to donate or make something they can participate.” And, “Cocoa, Cookies and Caroling” will take place, too.