HAWLEY - The Holiday Toy Drive, brought to you by The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™ has come to a close and this past year they were able to provide toys and gifts with a value in excess of $75,000.00 to over 700 children.

Jim Zumpone, Chief Visionary and Founder of The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™, provided the final report on February 6th. He stated that they are planning to do it again ahead of Christmas 2018, as well as have other events this year.

Distribution was held in mid-December at the Hawley Ambulance Hall.

Many to thank

He stated that they would not have been able to achieve their goals without the help from the generous community. “…We sincerely thank everyone involved for helping make the holidays a little brighter for children living in Wayne and Pike Counties,” he said.

“The support from everyone brought much happiness to those less fortunate. Meeting the goal to provide gifts to as many children as we could meant more to our community than we could have ever imagined,” said Zumpone.

The support from all of the businesses, organizations, and community members who partnered to host a toy collection box, or host an event sharing the proceeds with our organization, was equally met by the outpouring of support from local volunteers who selflessly gave of their time to make this program a success, he noted.

When most children were focused on their own lists of what they want, an eight year old girl named Paityn Duprey held a bake sale to raise money to buy gifts for other children.
“She is an inspiration to all,” Zumpone said.

He added that this program would have not been possible without the support of The Wayne County Ford & Bold Gold Media Holiday Toy Drive Challenge and everyone involved, who with the community’s support, filled seven pickup trucks with toys and an additional two pickup trucks worth of bicycles this year.

“We would also like to thank everyone involved with The Stourbridge Line Santa Express, individuals and groups who hosted events, and the many sponsors who supported the program this past year,” he stated.
Just the beginning

“By Igniting Passions in people within our community, The Holiday Toy Drive was only the beginning of how The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™, and collective community efforts, can ensure we are building futures that are happy, meaningful, bright, and positive for our kids and our communities,” Zumpone reflected. “We are just thankful to everyone who pulled together in just a few short weeks to make this event the best it could be in 2017. We are committed to making The Holiday Toy Drive an annual event. Having more time to plan for 2018, we expect it to be even better.”
For more information, pictures, and video about this past year’s program, or to volunteer, visit their website www.ZipperJunction.org.