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As CAST toy drive lags behind demand, group makes ‘panicked’ plea for help

Local children in need face disappointment Christmas morning as CAST's annual toy drive lags behind demand with time growing short. Stock photo: Fotolia

Community Action Southold Town needs help and they need it soon.

As Christmas approaches they find themselves with a shortage of toys for needy children, particularly boys age five to 12.

CAST executive director Linda Ruland says that there has been a downswing in donations this year.

“We’re a little panicked,” she said in a phone interview Saturday morning. “We usually get a bunch from Toys for Tots, but they gave us only half of what they usually do this year. They cover all of Suffolk County and I’m sure they didn’t get as many so they can’t give as many out.”

This year CAST has over 150 children on its list, with more than twice as many boys as girls in need of Christmas gifts.

“We get a lot of girls’ gifts and not as many for boys. This year we’re short on gifts for school-age boys — not preschool age, but ages five and up.”

She suggests gifts such as basketballs, footballs, Matchbox cars, books, puzzles and games.

Time is running out; CAST picks up toys from drop-off locations on Monday, Dec. 19 starting at noon.

“We’re very grateful for anything we get,” says Ruland. “But we need help this year.”

Toys can be dropped off at the following locations until Monday before noon:

Riverhead: Legislator Al Krupski’s office at the Cornell Cooperative Extension

Mattituck:  Mattituck-Laurel Library, Bridgehampton National Bank, Capital One Bank (Love Lane)

Cutchogue: Cutchogue-New Suffolk Library, Suffolk County National Bank

Southold: Southold Free Library, Bridgehampton National Bank, Capital One Bank, Mullen Motors

Greenport: Floyd Memorial Library, CAST Office (weekdays only), Bridgehampton National Bank, Captial One Bank, M&T Bank


Katharine Schroeder

Katharine is a writer and photographer who has lived on the North Fork for nearly 40 years, except for three-plus years in Hong Kong a decade ago, working for the actor Jackie Chan. She lives in Cutchogue.
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