Flood damage: Christmas toys will be replaced
YATES COUNTY—After being set back significantly by the mid-May flash flooding in Yates County, the Christmas for the Needy program has been attempting to bounce back. The flooding damaged between $10,000 and $20,000 in toys, games and sporting goods stored at the Once Again Shoppe along East Elm Street in Penn Yan. In response, a toy drive at Marketplace Mall in Henrietta was organized last week to help replace the lost items. The drive was hosted by the Pirate Toy Fund out of Monroe County and News10NBC as a means to help Christmas for the Needy replenish what was lost.
Board member Sandy Carlson said with the toy drive at Marketplace Mall, Christmas for the Needy has already exceeded 1,000 new toy donations. She said this is not counting the figures from another toy drive Thursday, June 19, which are still being tallied.
“I’m thrilled to death,” Carlson said. “It’s incredible that people from so far away care what is happening here in Yates County. They have been wonderful to work with, and it is reasonable to believe we will end up with 1,000 toys from Marketplace. [...] We are also having donations come in from three baseball teams in Seneca County, along with some cash as well. It is really heartwarming to see this response from so many different areas.”
Mickie Christiansen said many of the items lost were valued at $20 or greater, but were often purchased for less due to holiday sales. She said these will be more costly to replace due to people shopping at non-sale prices. Christiansen said health regulations and the program’s policy does not allow them to give out any items that were touched by flood water or damaged items in their original packaging.
The Yates County Christmas for the Needy program has been an institution in Yates County for more than 30 years. It is run entirely by volunteers, and on donations from Yates County residents and friends, there are no paid staff or administrative costs. Through the annual program, children and families are provided with new clothes, personal care items, toys, books, and family games. Families also receive food baskets. The program helps to serve more than 2,000 individuals, more than 600 families and more than 1,000 children.
Those interested in helping Christmas for the Needy replace their damaged toys may make a donation to Yates County Christmas for the Needy, P.O. Box 145, Penn Yan, NY, 14527.