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CAST faced with increasing need for toys this Christmas

Stock photo: Fotolia

As Christmas approaches, Community Action Southold Town is faced with the enormous task of providing gifts to every needy child on the North Fork. Each year CAST holds a toy drive and each year the number of gifts needed to meet the demand increases.

CAST executive director Cathy Demeroto has received nearly twice the number of requests as last year and her goal is to make sure no child is forgotten this holiday.

“We definitely have more need this year,” said Demeroto. “We had 75 families last year and we’re probably going to double that number.”

Last year as the end of the toy drive approached, CAST found itself with nowhere near the number of toys they needed and issued a plea to the public for help. Within days, they were flooded with toys and were able to meet the demand.

It would be great to avoid a similar situation this year, Demeroto said.

The toy drive began Nov. 28 and will continue until Dec. 15. So far CAST has seen donations mostly for elementary school children and encourages people to purchase gifts for middle and high school age kids.

“We often don’t have a lot to give kids ages 12 through 15,” she said. “I had a woman call recently who was worried she’d have nothing for her 13-year-old daughter.”

Demeroto stressed that CAST is grateful for any donation, but offered some suggestions for older kids.

For girls: snow boots, junior size clothing, hats and scarves, make-up or nail polish kits, art supplies and journals

For boys: gloves, boots, hoodies, sports equipment such as footballs, Frisbees or basketballs, board or card games

CAST has made it as easy as possible to donate by having drop boxes at the following locations across the North Fork:

Legislator Al Krupski’s office at the Cornell Cooperative Extension

Mattituck-Laurel Library
Bridgehampton National Bank
Capital One Bank

Cutchogue-New Suffolk Library
People’s United Bank
Bridgehampton National Bank

Southold Free Library
Bridgehampton National Bank
Mullen Motors
The Giving Room

Floyd Memorial Library
CAST Office
Bridgehampton National Bank
Capital One Bank
Greenport Post Office
American Beech

For gift card or monetary donations, drop off at CAST office, 316 Front Street in Greenport or mail to CAST, P.O. Box 159, Greenport, NY 11944. Donations can also be made online at www.castsoutholdtown.org

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. Email Katharine