cymca holiday toysProgram Helps Make the Holiday Season Merry for Needy Families

PHOTO: Local residents and businesses are invited to participate in the Y’s annual holiday gift drive to help make the season bright for struggling Monmouth County families served by The Community YMCA’s Counseling and Social Services branch.

Shrewsbury, NJ - Local residents and businesses are invited to help make the holidays brighter for struggling families in Monmouth County by giving to The Community YMCA’s annual holiday gift drive.


Coordinated by the Y’s Counseling and Social Services branch, the gift drive helps to ensure that many of the county’s neediest children and their families can experience the joy and surprise of the holiday season, said Colleen Verriest, Vice President of Counseling & Social Services.

“Strengthening families is at the heart of all we do at The Community YMCA,” Verriest said. “The donated gifts bring great happiness to the children and families who we serve, many of whom are victims of abuse, neglect, in the foster care system or who have special needs.”

In 2015, the Y was able to distribute more than $64,000 in gifts to 428 children served by the Y’s Counseling and Social Services branch, thanks to the community’s generous support, Verriest said.

There are many ways to support the holiday gift drive, said Coordinator Danielle Formica, noting that all gifts are personally delivered to the families and are tax-deductible.

cymca christmas treeAdopt-a-Family

The Community YMCA’s Adopt-a-Family program helps to make the holidays happy for needy families in Monmouth County. Community members may “adopt” a family or child and help provide gifts from their “wish lists.”  Anyone who would like to participate in the Adopt-a-Family program will be able to choose a child or family.

Gift Donations

Unwrapped toys and gift cards are welcomed and may be dropped off at the following Y locations until Dec. 12:

›  Family Health & Wellness Center, 166 Maple Ave., Red Bank, NJ 07701

›  YMCA Counseling & Social Services, 613 Hope Road, Building 4, 2nd Floor, Eatontown, NJ 07724

Amazon Wish List

Purchase a child’s gift from the Y’s Wish List on To view the Wish List, simply go to, click on “Wish List” in the right hand corner, and enter the following e-mail address in the Search for Wish List box: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Giving Tree

Local businesses are invited to display a “giving tree” and encourage their employees to participate by selecting an ornament with a child’s gift wish, and returning the gift by December 12.

For more information on how you can donate or set up a “giving tree,” please call Formica at 732.544.4544, ext. 520.