Thursday morning, city government and charitable organization officials gathered in the front lobby of Norwalk City Hall to officially hand over toys to workers from the Department of Public Works gathered for the holiday season.
In front of a Christmas tree with collected presents beneath it spilling across the floor, Superintendent Anthony Daddona and Mayor Richard Moccia said there's never been a greater need for the annual drive benefitting disadvantaged youths.
"Moreso this year, there are needs out there because of Hurricane Sandy," he said.. "This should be a big boost for them."
Izora Ebron of the Open Door Homeless Shelter thanked city officials and board of education members for their participation and help gathering donated gifts for the event.
"This is going to help our organization tremendously," Ebron said following the ceremony. "It's not only going to assist the families in our shelters, our families outside the shelter as well, our 'beyond' families."
Moccia noted the shelter currently has children living in it, and said events like this help give children the opportunity to hold on to their childlike wonder and beliefs in things like Santa.
Sandy was also a major theme during the fundraising campaign, and Moccia noted the influence on families' holiday plans this year, including families who weren't in a difficult position prior to the storm.
"Following Sandy, they may not be able to afford giving their children a holiday like they normally would," Moccia said. "Helping those that are less fortunate is what this season is all about. The spirit of giving. If we can't do it now when it is most needed, when could we?"
The present drive began just after Thanksgiving, Moccia said. The were turned over to DPW employees Oliver Lawrence and Philip Senat, who transported them to the shelter and Salvation Army for distribution to the children. Anyone interested in donating gifts for children should direct inquiries to the Salvation Army. All donated gifts go to help local disadvantaged children.