‘Contactless’ Toy Drive Set For December 12

An annual toy drive held at the Ukrainian Center on Davidson Avenue will be contactless this year, in light of coronavirus concerns.

The Unity Holiday All Stars event is set for noon to 2 p.m.

Organizers of the drive, sponsored by the non-profit Unity SME, hope to duplicate their previous success.

“We’ve received between 1,500 and 1,600 gifts in the past,” said Vijay Ahlawat, one of the event organizers.

Rather than holding an indoor event, as it has for the past five years at the Ukrainian Center, this year’s toy drive will be a drive-through event.

Ahlawat said there will be three stations for donors. The first will allow for a car “selfie” with Santa.

At the second station, volunteers will come to the cars and remove donated gifts from the cars’ trunks.

At the third station, volunteers will place an arts and crafts kit in the donors’ trunks to be completed at home.

Ahlawat said volunteers rage in age from young children to adults.

“One of the things of the event is to show social responsibility to children,” he said. “We show that we’re fortunate enough to have gifts, but there are a ton of people who aren’t fortunate.”

“This year has been tough for a lot of people, it’s important for us to show the younger generation the same thing,” he said.

“It’s just a really nice moment every year to show that people are willing to give back,” he said.

The event is rain or shine, and donors can register for a drop-off time by clicking hhttps://www.eventbrite.com/e/130450327441ere.

Those who can’t make it to the event can sponsor a gift by making a monetary donation to the group through Venmo (@unitysme) or through PayPal (paypal.me/unitysme).

The organizations benefiting from the donations are the York Street Project, CASA, YMCA Newark, Catholic Charities New Brunswick and Hope House.

For more information, email unity@unitysme.com.

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