It all started four years ago, in response to the devastation that Hurricane Sandy had left in her path. As some parents were forced to deal with “real life issues” like finding temporary shelter, food and clothing for their families, thousands of children were sadly not going to be able to celebrate the holidays.
Enter Eric Hall (formerly Red Star Bar, currently Cozinha Latina) along with Franny Civitano and Paul Samulski (East River Ferry) to call on the giving spirit of the various communities of Brooklyn. They launched the Big Brooklyn Holiday Toy Drive, which was one of many success stories of 2012. BBHTD’s newest partner, Dana Rachlin, founder of TOGETHER NYC, ensures all donations are tax deductible.
Four years and 10,000+ toys later, the BBHTD is still going strong. Support for the drive comes from Pencilworks, Broadway Stages, Two Trees, Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn Brewery, CitiBike, Kickstarter, VICE Media, Rough Trade, Brooklyn Winery, the Greenpoint Chamber, the Northside Festival, the DUMBO BID, St. Vitus, the Brooklyn Roasting Company, Fabricca, Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital, Anella, Two Door Tavern, Biba, and a long list of others who have opened their hearts.
Every year the drive ends with a party that features a raffle of spectacular donated goods and services from local companies and individuals. This year the party will be hosted by Biba, on Kent Avenue in Williamsburg. Tickets for the event, (7:00-10:00pm, Wednesday, December 16th) which includes three hours of open bar, food, music, photo booth and the raffle are $25 in advance (or $35 at the door). EVERY PENNY collected goes directly to the purchase of additional toys for the drive. For more information go to bigbktoydrive.com.
The benefactors of this year’s drive will be the Teddy Atlas’s Cops & Kids, Grand Street Boys Association, and Outreach.
Toy collection boxes are located throughout Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and other areas of Brooklyn from December 2nd through December 16th. A full list of locations can be found here.
- Dandelion Wine
153 Franklin St.
- Flying Squirrel
87 Oak St.
- The Yard
33 Nassau Ave, Second Floor
- Rough Trade
64 N 9th St.
51 N 1st St.
- Assemblyman Joeseph Lentol’s Office
619 Lorimer St.
- Brooklyn Athletic Club
8 Berry St.
(Greenpointers are media sponsors for Big Brooklyn Holiday Toy Drive.)