The Bronx Zoo is making sure children in its community get some holiday cheer.
The New York Wildlife Conservation Society and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. launched a toy and winter clothes drive today, and encourage New Yorkers to drop off items at the zoo through December 31.
"When you think about the holidays, we have a responsibility to the communities around us. And one of the ways we can fulfill that responsibility is by doing something like this, a fun event," says Wildlife Conservation Society Public Affairs Vice President John Calvelli. "Bring a toy, bring a coat, slightly used, new preferably. And we'll be working with the borough president's office and with the Bronx Chamber of Commerce to deliver those toys to needy kids."
"While so many of us are celebrating during this holiday season, there are so many young boys and girls in the Bronx who are going to go without a toy," said Diaz. "This initiative helps us to put a smile on the face of as many young boys and girls who are in shelters or who are in programs whose parents otherwise won't be able to get them a toy this holiday season."
"We're a business community, and as a business community this is a way to give back to the community," said Lenny Caro of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce.
As an extra incentive, visitors who give to the toy drive will receive free admission to see the animals.
Students from P.S. 205 in the Bronx said that it is important to help other children,
"You can't just receive like the borough president said. You've got to give back," said student Kevin Reynos.
"There are kids that need help. You need to help them this time of year," said student Cassidy Cadiz.
For more information on how to contribute, as well as information on other zoo holiday events, visit www.bronxzoo.com.