I’ve been thinking the past few weeks how this pandemic will treat the traditional holiday events like Halloween trick or treating, Santa visits at the mall, toys for the kids, Thanksgiving at grandma’s and other traditional things that we took for granted which will now pose a challenge.

We’ve all suffered at various degrees these past months. It literally affected us all. One group that doesn’t deserve any of the hardship that this pandemic has so aptly provided are kids.

Each year my friend and Asbury Park police officer Connie Breech and her group of friends hold a toy and coat drive for those underprivileged youth in Asbury Park. My friends and I got involved last year and I was blown away by the amount of outreach the program provided in making the Christmas season so special for those kids who don’t have much to look forward to.

The distribution of those toys and coats is held at the Stone Pony and it’s done with the precision and organization of a fine military maneuver. I was blown away when I saw the organizational strategy that took place.

Each family had a registered number and a prepacked bag was ready for them when they got to the Stone Pony. Volunteers ran back and forth matching numbers and bags. This year will be no different other than the space between those picking up their pack of coats and kids toys. It brings help and a smile to those families in need.

One difference this year is the increase in the amount of people that need the coats and toys and the decrease in donations to make that happen because of the financial hardship that has fallen on all of us. I hope that we can step up and help this great toy and coat drive, for more information and to donate please go to asburyparktoydrive.com.

Thanks for your help and support, I appreciate it.