After seeing so many of their friends’ parents lose their jobs due to the pandemic, two Deer Park High School sophomores – Class of 2023 President Tiffany Bala and Class of 2023 Vice President Kayley Eising – decided to organize a toy drive for the children in the Deer Park community.
First, the pair researched how to host a toy drive, and chose to use YouGiveGoods.com, which allows people to donate by buying from a list of available online toy options. The students could then receive the toys and distribute them. They decided that this was the safest way to host a toy drive during the pandemic, so that less people would have to interact one-on-one.
YouGiveGoods.com required a sponsoring charity, so Bala and Eising contacted the Anthony DeNoyior Memorial Foundation, which was founded by his family in 2020 after his death due to COVID-19. DeNoyior was a long-time Deer Park resident and 20-year volunteer auxiliary police officer with the Suffolk County Police Department.
“Mr. DeNoyior was all about family and giving, and was passionate about helping the less fortunate, those in need of financial support and the homeless,” said teacher Jill Perry-Eising. “The Foundation thought that Kayley and Tiffany’s toy drive to help the community was the perfect way to honor the memory of Mr. DeNoyior, because the Foundation’s mission is to help those in need.”
Bala and Eising then reached out to Deer Park High School social worker Chenoa Mattila for help in distributing the toys to needy families in Deer Park. While preparing the drive, they set a goal to collect 100 toys. After posting their drive on various social media platforms, they quickly exceeded their goal on the drive’s first day. They then increased their goal to 150 toys and far exceeded this new goal by ultimately collecting 264 toys, allowing them to distribute toys to both Deer Park families and Toys for Tots.
After so much success, the two high schoolers have made it a yearly goal to partner with the Anthony DeNoyior Foundation to help Deer Park children in need.
Toy Drive Tiffany and Kayley 1, 2: Two Deer Park High School sophomores – Class of 2023 President Tiffany Bala and Class of 2023 Vice President Kayley Eising –organized a successful toy drive for the children in the Deer Park community.
Photos courtesy of Deer Park School District