Making Holidays Happy

Santa Claus came to Leake & Watts schools and program sites all around town, and with his list checked twice and the support of hundreds of donors and volunteers being good for goodness sake, the 2015 Toy Drive brought gifts, smiles and holiday joy to 2,949 children, teens and young adults supported by Leake & Watts.
“I love Christmas, and I love kids. This just seems like the perfect way to celebrate the season and give back,” said Maddy Specht. Maddy and fellow Harrison High School student Gia Mancini raised funds to provide gifts for four classrooms at the Ames Early Childhood Center. They were among the many donors from numerous corporate and civic organizations – ranging from law firms to hospitals to colleges to civic-minded individuals – whose contributions made the 2015 Toy Drive such a success.
And it was a wonderful success! A considerable annual undertaking, the 2015 Toy Drive proved to be our most fruitful to date, providing toys to youth who may not otherwise have received gifts this holiday season. In addition to thousands of donated toys, individual donations and an accompanying online giving campaign led by Leake & Watts employees raised more than $21,000, allowing us to purchase gifts and gift cards for teens, the hardest ones for whom to get gifts.
“The Toy Drive brings together the entire community to help our kids have a special holiday,” Volunteer Manager Jack Toone said. “In my role, I get to see how generous and caring our community is, and when I go with a volunteer Santa to deliver these presents to our schools and programs, I get to see the great joy these gifts bring to all the people we support.”
The Toy Drive was one of several holiday initiatives connecting those we support with the greater community. Leake & Watts also partnered with Simon Malls and Banana Republic this December to make holiday shopping a little brighter – and easier – while raising funds in support of our work. Holiday helpers from Leake & Watts’s Youth Residential Treatment Center, as well as Leake & Watts volunteers, wrapped gifts at The Westchester Mall in White Plains.
As shopping and gifting was on everyone’s mind, Leake & Watts was delighted to receive support on Giving Tuesday. Held nationwide on Tuesday, December 1, the day encourages people to take a moment to step back from the post-Thanksgiving holidayshopping frenzy and give back to the community. Taking part in this global initiative and benefitting from individual and corporate match promises, Leake & Watts was pleased to receive more than $15,000 in donations.