Holiday Spirit: A Toy Drive at Jerry’s House
Every year on the second Saturday of December, Jerry Moscowitz welcomes dozens of people into his Brooklyn Park home.
“We’ve got people driving up to two hours to be here,” Moscowitz said. “We’ve got everything from people that I’ve known, people that I work with, neighbors, our kids.”
It’s a tradition that dates back to the mid-1980s. During a nine-hour time span, about 160 people will make their way through his front door.
“It’s just a thing that we’ve always done,” said Nicole Biczkowski, a family member. “I have friends from high school that still come every year. It’s just a great tradition.”
But this isn’t your typical Christmas gathering. They’re here specifically to contribute to the family’s 33rd annual Toys for Tots drive.
“It’s a nice atmosphere, when you walk in the door and you see what you and others have created with a pile of toys,” Moscowitz said. “It really brings home the Christmas feeling, I think.”
Throughout the course of the day, visitors bring toy, after toy, after toy and place it by the tree.
“Throughout the year if I see something on sale, I’ll buy it and then just store it until I come here,” said Elizabeth Nelson, a family member.
The guests bring the toys to the Moscowitz household, despite knowing plenty of other Toys for Tots drop-off locations exist.
“I think there’s a lot of pride in people to be able to say that they were part of a group that gave this much to the Toys for Tots, and to bring a lot of smiles to people during the holidays,” Moscowitz said.
In this season of giving, few things are more enjoyable than seeing the enthusiasm on a child’s face when they unwrap a brand new toy.
“I love when people donate because it’s a sense of giving,” Nelson said. “That’s what Christmas is all about.”
The kids receiving the toys might not live in the greatest of circumstances in their day-to-day lives, yet thanks to Moscowitz and his party-goers, happiness will come to several hundred children this Christmas.
“There’s a lot of good in people,” Moscowitz said.
At last count, Moscowitz collected about 570 toys and $650 dollars for Toys for Tots. The United States Marine Corps will stop by the house later this week to gather everything.