Have you ever wondered what happened to the Tickle Me Elmo you dropped off in a gift-wrapped box around town?
For about a decade, the Toys for Tots donations in Westchester County have made their way to a storage unit in Elmsford.
Over the past few days, Westy Self Storage welcomed thousands of toys from around the county into its doors. There, organizations and departments—including the Westchester County Department of Social Services—picked up the donations to distribution needy children in the county on Monday.
Iris Davis, a Toys for Tots volunteer and retired social services employee, is spearheading this year's effort along with Lucian Caldara.
"We try to give the toys out in bulk to organizations that serve the populations," explained Davis.
Among the donations included more than 600 unwrapped toys from this year's campaign, organized by Christin Simon Ogryzlo.
After approaching local merchants and asking them to host toy or cash donation boxes, "I got a really, really great warm welcome," she said. "They were all very open."
The cash donations collected for Toys for Tots help fund items that may be needed, but were not donated, such as blankets or diapers, according to Ogyryzlo.
Cars and vans were stuffed full of bagged and loose toys Monday morning. They will be wrapped by the organizations and distributed to area children in time for the holidays.
Though a rough economy and increased need for toys this year had volunteers worried about helping out county children in need, "We've done very well with the toys," said Davis.