(BAYSIDE) Today, Senator Tony Avella donated a bundle of toys to the St. John’s University toy drive known as “Hooper’s Troopers Toy Drive.” The annual drive was started by the school’s College of Professional Studies and has been running since September. The students managing the drive are known as Hooper’s Toy Troopers, and have been collecting toys for underprivileged children to unwrap and enjoy during the holiday season. The students chose Hooper, an extremely friendly dog that was rescued from Hurricane Katrina and is being cared for by Professor Jane Paley, as their mascot to exemplify the spirit of caring for those in need. The toys collected will be going to charities such as Toys for Tots, Bread and Life and St. Jude’s Hospital.
Avella stated, “It’s great to see college students in our area coming together to help put a smile on the face of children who would not have received gifts this holiday season. They realize how important it is to remember those that are less fortunate and to give back in any way that they can. I admire their service to their community and I’m happy to have been able to contribute.”
Avella was especially receptive to the Trooper’s outreach for help in promoting their goal of collecting over 2,500 toys before December 6th and has done so by making personal toy donations and publicizing the event on his own Facebook page and Twitter.
“I hope that everyone who can make a donation to Hooper’s Troopers does so before the December 6th deadline. Every child deserves a gift during the holidays and unifying community efforts like these really go a long way to helping the larger organizations like Toys for Tots meet that goal.”