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Black Tie International:
 FPWA Annual Holiday Toy Drive
Photos by:  Robert White
FPWA Executive Director Jennifer Jones Austin and children from the Mary McLeod Bethune Day Care Center. Credit: Robert White
 FPWA Executive Director Jennifer Jones Austin and children from the
Mary McLeod Bethune Day Care Center.

Alan from Sesame Street
Hosts FPWA Annual Holiday Toy Drive

 Kickoff Event
December 9, 2014 (New York, NY): The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA) hosted a holiday party today with Alan Muraoka who plays "Alan", the proprietor of Hooper's Store on Sesame Street, and Sesame Street puppeteer Pam Arciero, with Leona, for pre-school children from FPWA member agency, Mary McLeod Bethune Day Care Center in Brooklyn. Alan and Pam sang songs and played educational games with the children. The children joined the Times Square Church Military Ministry Choir in singing classic Christmas carols, and received toys from Santa Claus. The festivities took place at FPWA headquarters located at 281 Park Avenue South.
Today's kickoff event is part of the FPWA Annual Holiday Toy and Gift Drive which runs from Dec. 1 through Dec. 22 to ensure that children in need across the five boroughs have a brighter, happier holiday season. One of the largest toy drives in New York City; FPWA has already received requests for toys, books and clothes representing approximately 37,500 children  and expects to receive more.
"The holiday season can be especially difficult for children and families struggling to make ends meet," said Terrel Blackett, Executive Director at the Mary McLeod Bethune Child Development Center. At MMBCDC, we take care of our children like a family, and being part of the FPWA family has provided us with the opportunity to help make Christmas that much brighter for our children.
Piles of gift donations at Federation of Protestant Welfare Agency headquarters. Credit: Robert White
Piles of gift donations at Federation of Protestant Welfare Agency headquarters
Each year FPWA, through its member agencies, receives tens of thousands of requests for toys, books and clothing.  Since its inception, FPWA?s Annual Holiday Toy and Gift Drive has served nearly 1 million children and families in the New York metropolitan area. "New York is a big city with an even bigger heart. The holiday season in particular provides an opportunity for New Yorkers to show their tremendous generosity by giving to fellow New Yorkers in need, and especially to underserved children," said Jennifer Jones Austin, FPWA's Executive Director. 
How to Donate:
Donations can be dropped off at FPWA's offices located at 281 Park Avenue South, Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. ? 5:00 pm. For large toy or monetary donations, please contact Karen Giacalone, Volunteer Coordinator at 212-801-1332 or Toy donations are being accepted through December 19. 
      FPWA Toy Drive Wish List:

Action Figures (no guns please)

Ethnic Dolls

Art Supplies (non-toxic)         

Hard Cover Books

Building Blocks

LEGO sets

Cars and trucks


Clothing for teens (New and large sizes)

Science Sets

Craft Sets

Sports Equipment (Basketballs, Footballs


About FPWA

The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA) is an anti-poverty, policy and advocacy nonprofit with a membership network of nearly 200 human service and faith-based organizations. FPWA has been a prominent force in New York City's social services system for more than 92 years, advocating for fair public policies, collaborating with partner agencies, and growing its community-based membership network to meet the needs of New Yorkers. Each year, through its network of member agencies, FPWA reaches close to 1.5 million New Yorkers of all ages, ethnicities, and denominations. FPWA strives to build a city of equal opportunity that reduces poverty, promotes upward mobility, and creates shared prosperity for all New Yorkers. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.


joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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