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Ways To Donate Or Volunteer During Holiday Season

OSSINING, N.Y. – Whether you're looking to help troops overseas, needy local families or sick children, there are numerous ways to donate and volunteer locally during the holiday season. Here's a list of opportunities:

1. Christmas Care Packages for Soldiers

Boy Scout Troop 49 and Cub Pack 49 in partnership with the American Legion Parker Bale Post 1597 and Sing Sing Post 1123 is collecting items for care packages to be sent to soldiers in time for Christmas. Suggested items are: deodorant, bath/body wash, hand sanitizer, nail clippers, lip balm, tooth brushes, toothpaste, razors, shaving gel, wash cloths, comb and pick, skin lotion, sun screen, pens, spiral notebooks, envelopes, large sizes of brown, green or tan t-shirts, black boot socks and white athletic socks.

Items can be dropped off at boxes outside these locations: St. Augustine Church at 381 North Highland Ave., Parker Bale Post 1597 at 11 Old Albany Post Rd., and Sing Sing Post 1123, 350 Hunter St. Please do not wrap the items.

2. Ossining Boat & Canoe Club's Toys for Tots Drive

New toys to be given to less fortunate children can be dropped off at the Ossining Town/Village Clerk's office at 16 Croton Ave., the Ossining Police Department at 88 Spring St., the Ossining library at 53 Croton Ave., the Landmark Diner at 265 S. Highland Ave., Emigrant Bank at the corner of South Highland and Croton Avenues, Mahopac National Bank at 2 Church St., Dress Barn in the Chilmark Shopping Center or Curves fitness center at 1872 Pleasantville Rd.

The toy drive supports the US Marine Corps' Toys for Tots program. Local merchants can join in the team by contacting Pat or Mike Scarduzio at 914-762-5895 or patunger1@optonline.net.

3. Sing Sing Kids Toy Drive

Toys to be given to children whose fathers are incarcerated in Sing Sing prison can be dropped of in the lobby of Briarcliff High School up until Dec. 7. Gifts should be for children ages 0-15.

4. Friends of Karen Adopt A Family Program.

If you would like to contribute to a family with a critically ill child, you can call Friends of Karen volunteer coordinator Denise Tredwell at 914-617-4052. Tredwell will give you a list of specific items that were put on the holiday wish list of a critically ill child or their sibling, and you can purchase the items and drop them off at Houlihan Lawrence at 1145 Pleasantville Rd. in Briarcliff up until a few days before Christmas.

5. The Baker-Collyer Christmas Cheer Fund

Members of the Ossining fire department are trying to raise $16,500 in order to buy food for needy families in the greater Ossining area so they can make holiday dinners. Food, including turkeys, stuffing, potatoes, milk, celery, green beans and corn, is purchased at a discounted price from the A&P supermarket in the Chilmark Shopping Center. It is packed the evening of Dec. 22 and delivered on Dec. 23. Contributions can be sent to the Baker-Collyer Christmas Cheer Fund, c/o Town of Ossining, 16 Croton Ave., Ossining, NY 10562. For more information, contact John Crawford at 914-438-9843 or johngcrawford@aol.com.

6. Open Door Family Medical Center Toy Drive

Open Door is accepting new, unwrapped toys with a maximum value of $20 to benefit young patients who stop by to see Santa during the holiday season. Anyone interested in volunteering to sort and wrap gifts, or anyone needing a pick-up for large donations should contact Alicia Ward at 914-502-1468 or award@ood.org.

7. Briarcliff Manor Police Benevolent Association Toy Drive

Toys will be delivered to the Westchester Medical Center's Children's Hospital on Dec. 14. Toy donations can be dropped off at the Briarcliff police department at 1111 Pleasantville Rd. anytime up until Dec. 14.

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