Toy collection benefits Southwick, Granville and Tolland families

Donations of unwrapped toys can be dropped off at Moolicious Ice Cream, 258 Feeding Hills Road. (Photo by Hope E. Tremblay)

SOUTHWICK – Joseph Deedy and his merry band of helpers – known as Secret Santa and the Angry Elf – are helping spread holiday cheer again this year.

Deedy, founder of Southwick Civic Fund and owner of Moolicious Ice Cream, began collecting donations of toys for families in Southwick, Granville and Tolland in 2014. Five years later, the program has grown, and last year 110 families were provided with gifts in time for Christmas.

“This year we expect to have just as many,” Deedy said. “We are accepting donations of toys for children up to age 15.”

Deedy and his family helped organize a similar effort in West Springfield, known as Operation Santa, for many years before bringing the idea to Southwick.

New, unwrapped items can be donated at Moolicious, 258 Feeding Hills Road, during business hours.

Deedy said he is also collecting donations of gift cards – preferably $10 WalMart cards – wrapping paper and tape.

Families in need of gifts for children should visit and fill out the request form. The deadline to apply is Dec. 11. Deedy said there is not a lot of information required.

“We ask very few questions,” he said.

The form requires a parent’s name, address, number of children and their ages. A copy of a government issued identification card of a parent is required, as well as a copy of each child’s birth certificate and proof of current address.

Specific toy requests cannot be filled, Deedy noted.

“This is an opportunity for every child to have a gift to unwrap for the holidays,” Deedy said. “We just want everyone to have a Merry Christmas.”

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