Thanks to the outpouring of donations from community members, the Briarcliff Manor and Pleasantville Police Benevolent Associations are helping to make the holidays a little more normal for the kids at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at Westchester Medical Center.
"We did very well this year," said Briarcliff Manor Police Officer Jason Wollman, who has been organizing the drive for four years.
This time, he got his brother's department involved, as well.
"We really appreciate the generosity of both communities," said Jesse Wollman, a detective in the Pleasantville Police Department.
Tricia Hiller-Dinoff, director of Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy at the Valhalla hospital, said staff members wrap up customized boxes for the children staying in the 100-plus beds, as well as their siblings, to open up on Christmas Day.
"We want to help the kids and their families have a happy day during the holidays," Officer Wollman said.
Gifts pour in each year from local organizations like the PBAs and fire departments, as well as nearby companies, law offices and more.
The Wollmans, along with Briarcliff Manor Police Officers John Wynne and William Bassett and Pleasantville PBA President Matthew Listwan, unloaded bags and bags of toys on Monday afternoon.
Detective Wollman said both departments received an influx of gifts over the weekend.
Additional gifts not used during the holiday season are distributed throughout the year to children as rewards for accomplishments like spelling test scores and physical therapy milestones, as well as on birthdays, Hiller-Dinoff said.
Others are used in the hospital's playroom year-round.
But bringing in the toys during the holidays takes a huge burden off parents who may not have time to shop for the perfect gift.
"It takes the extra stress off them," said Hiller-Dinoff. "The parents are always so amazed by the outpouring of support."