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Greenwich’s Neighbor to Neighbor seeking toys

November 25, 2016 GMT

GREENWICH — After delivering 500 turkeys to people in need in the community, the Neighbor to Neighbor non-profit organization is now looking to start a new initiative distributing toys next month.

“We’re going to do our first Christmas toy distribution this year,” said Nancy Coughlin, director of Neighbor to Neighbor.

“We’ve got an Amazon wish list to buy toys our clients have specifically asked for, and we’ve seen more and more donors coming forward willing and be able to provide them,” said Coughlin.

Neighbor to Neighbor, which provides food and clothing to those who need some extra help, has never done a toy drive before, because of the cost and logistical difficulties. But there was a strong desire among the non-profit’s donors and supporters, so they will begin a pilot program this year.

Beside the Internet purchasing, Neighbor to Neighbor will be soliciting new, unwrapped toys at its space at the Christ Church annex on East Putnam Avenue. The goal is to set up a “pop-up” shop somewhere in the community in mid-December, so clients of Neighbor to Neighbor can stop by to pick up Christmas items.

The turkey giveaway concluded last week, with 500 birds distributed. Kings Food Market in Old Greenwich supplied 400 of them.

“They’re beautiful,” noted Coughlin.

So far, the demand for food in the community has been holding steady — nothing like the big jump that took place following the start of the recession in 2008.

“We gave out 500 turkeys this year, which is the same as last year,” said Coughlin, “Demand is what it usually is. It’s been flat this year; it hasn’t gone down, but it hasn’t gone up, that’s good news.”

The community organization serves about 600 people with food assistance, and 300 people with clothing.