Each year for the past 20 years, the annual CUMC toy drive -- sponsored by the Office of Government & Community Affairs -- has collected donations from CUMC staff, faculty and students and delivered hundreds of toys to local children, with a little help from Santa Claus, of course.
This year, nearly 200 children at several local organizations received toys, including the Washington Heights Child Care Center on December 22. While the children sat and waited patiently, a few jingle bells could be heard outside the playroom. "Do you hear the reindeer?" asked the teachers. "Santa's on his way!"
Santa Claus made his grand entrance and, one by one, gave each child a toy chosen especially for them. After everyone had received a gift, it was time to tear off the paper and see what was inside. Trucks, dolls, games and more delighted the group of three- and four-year-olds.
After a gentle reminder from the teachers, the children said brightly, in unison, "Thank you, Santa!"
Photos by Amelia Panico