Hundreds of Monmouth County families enjoyed a brighter holiday season in 2017, thanks in part to area families, businesses and organizations who partnered with Family & Children’s Service (FCS) to support Operation Sleighbells. The agency’s annual holiday giving program provided thousands of donated toys, books, coats, pajamas and infant necessities to more than 1,700 children in need, including 400 children served by child protection programs in central and southern Monmouth County.
“We’re delighted that we were able to make so many holiday wishes come true!” FCS Director of Volunteer Services Samantha White exclaimed. “The generosity of our donors made it possible for us to provide gifts or gift cards to every single child who requested one. A nurse at one of the elementary schools served by our program says she overheard students talking about their favorite gifts. That warms our hearts!”
White also credited Monmouth Park for this year’s successful drive. For the third consecutive year, the owners of the Oceanport racetrack donated 10,000 square feet of space needed to store, sort and distribute the thousands of donated gifts. White says without the off-site location, FCS would be forced to reduce the number of families it serves.
Operation Sleighbells is different from other holiday drives in that it addresses the specific needs and wishes of each participating child. Families are interviewed and asked to provide the ages, sizes and needs of the children in their care. Donors are then asked to fulfill the requests, either individually or by sponsoring an entire family.
This year, along with the many individual families who signed up to donate, more than 100 businesses and organizations also sponsored families or conducted toy drives, including: Abe Pressman Jewelers, Advisors Mortgage Group, Amazon Consulting Experts, Ansell Healthcare LLC, Atlantic Club in Red Bank and Manasquan, Atlantis Prep, Audi of Eatontown, Beach Front North Day Book Club, Bristol Meyers Squibb, Brookdale Community College, Brownie Troop 252 Unit 8, Canbert Inc., CCMSI, Circle of Life Chiropractic, Cobham, Colonial Terrace Neighborhood Association, Colts Neck High School, CommVault, Continental Logistics, CRA, Dittmar Agency, Dugan Elementary School, Endoscopy Center of Red Bank, Family First Urgent Care, First Financial Credit Union, Fragoman Worldwide, Freehold Cartage Inc., Freehold Hyundai, French & Parello, GHG Group, Haircrafters Salon, Holmdel High School, Holmdel Village School, Howell High School, Howell Rebel Football, HUB International Northeast, InSite Engineering, Interworld Highway, Investors Savings Bank, Jersey Shore Women’s Club, Kindercare of Wall, Lightbridge Academy, Little Chief Learning Station, Little Silver Animal Hospital, Loscalzo Institute Man and Woman of the Year, Marlboro Elementary School, MBL Marketing Solutions, Metropolitan Asthma & Allergy, Monmouth Medical Center Foundation, Monmouth Retina Consults, Monmouth University, Moser Taboada Law Firm, Natural Health Care Center, Nestle, NJ Office of Unemployment, NJ State FOP, Noise in the Attic, Noontime Optimist Club of Freehold, Ocean Dental, Ocean Pointe Realtors, Old Bridge Dental, Quaker Special Risk, Qualcare, Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, Relentless Fitness and Training, ReMax Central, Revenue Guard, Ridge Realty, Robert Half, Rumson Country Day School, Rumson Public Works, Sarah E. Elias, Esq., Shrewsbury Garden Club, Single Throw Internet Marketing, Stephen Gould Corp., Stop & Shop, Strasz Computer Consulting, Tarise Day Spa, The Learning Experience, The Pilates Project, Trident Abstract Title Agency, Trinity Solar, Victor Zando Foundation, Wall Township Girl Scouts, West-Ward Pharmaceuticals, Warshauer Electric and West Long Branch First Aid.