Christmas Wishes Fulfilled By RAINE Foundation's Annual Gift Drive
Santa and his elves were very busy Wednesday night at Santa's workshop -- a.k.a Childrenswear -- in Hazlet for the RAINE Foundation's annual gift drive.
In the days leading up to Wednesday night's deliveries, volunteers were busy "shopping" and wrapping donated gifts that came from as far away as Canada, the Carolinas, Boston and New York.
It took several days and hundreds of volunteers to sort through the thousands of donated gifts, from bikes, to clothes, games, dolls and everything in between.
James Keenan with the RAINE Foundation says there was an influx in families that applied this season due to Superstorm Sandy.
Some of the big ticket items donated this year were XBox's, Laptops, iPods, Kindle's MP3 players, and Furbies which were all the rage again this year along with LaLa Loopsie Dolls and of course the American Classic Bicycles.
Lucky receipients will be surprised this year when they open their gifts delivered by Santa to see that most of their wish list was able to be granted, thanks to the generosity of local residents and businesses along with many others.
Axis Global Logistics of Maspeth, NY sent a truckload of 30 bicycles.
Aeropostale donated Teddy Bears.
Other local contributors to the drive were Buhler, ICIMS employees with a match from the company, and Remson.
RAINE's goal this year was to have 30 Santas on standby to deliver presents to each family.
With the help of local fire departments, Union Beach FD, Hazlet FD, Middletown FD, Members of the Hazlet & Middletown Police Departments, Monmouth County Corrections and Monmouth County Sherriff's department, volunteers loaded a fleet of vans on standby that were donated by Struab Motors for the evening along with other rescue and personal vehicles.
Santas were then escorted by fire truck and followed by support vehicles to deliver the gifts to over 400 families, many of whom are currently staying with family members or at local hotels.
Want to know how you can get invloved with this wonderful organization or just want more information about the RAINE Foundation? Check out their website at www.rainefoundation.com or on Facebook for upcoming events.