This fall, United Way of Westchester and Putnam gave out 10,000 toys to children throughout Westchester through the Toys for Tots‘ “Unplug & Play” initiative. The program distributes toys and books to children during the spring, summer, and fall to have children unplug from their devices and engage their imaginations. In addition to Toys for Tots, United Way teamed up with Good 360, Penske Trucking, Westchester Medical Center, and three school districts, Greenburgh Central School District, Peekskill School District, and the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns.
The Unplug and Play program significantly impacted our ability to continue promoting active and healthy lifestyles among the youth in our community,” said Dr. Ray Sanchez, superintendent of the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns. “The impact of the Unplug and Play program goes beyond just reducing screen time; it is about creating a healthier, more connected, and vibrant community. I appreciate United Way’s dedication to the well-being of our community and its support of the Unplug and Play program. Together, we are making a real difference in the lives of the youth in our area.”
The combined efforts of these organizations resulted in a seamless and impactful distribution of toys to children. The collaborative initiative underscores the power of community partnerships in addressing the diverse needs of children and families.
Toys were distributed to the pre-K through elementary school-aged students in the partnering districts. Additionally, Westchester Medical Center gave toys to the children who participated in the Go the Distance Walk on Sept. 24.
“Children are at the heart of our community, and through initiatives like Unplug & Play, we are committed to creating experiences that not only bring joy but also contribute to their holistic development,” said Avery Zuvic, Director of Community Impact at United Way of Westchester and Putnam. “We extend our gratitude to our partners, volunteers, and everyone who contributed to making this initiative a resounding success.”
The toy distribution was part of United Way’s Essential Goods for Basic Needs Program, which provides more than $5 million worth of new items from retailers and manufacturers to help individuals and families have access to essential basic needs items like bedding, clothing, small houseware goods, and mattresses through our local nonprofit partners.
As the holiday season approaches, United Way of Westchester and Putnam remains dedicated to improving lives and strengthening communities. The success of the Unplug & Play initiative serves as a shining example of what can be achieved when organizations come together for a common cause.