Dear Friends,

The Season of Hope Toy Drive invites all members of our community, from children to senior citizens, to come together in the spirit of compassion to brighten the holidays for our neighbors.


These days we are fortunate to witness a little bit of magic on the Project Self-Sufficiency campus at any given moment:  A racing boat packed with toys will dock in the parking lot, students will deliver thousands of freshly-baked cookies, scores of people will donate toys, helpers from local businesses and schools will arrive to sort the donations, a school bus will disgorge thousands of gifts collected by local children, donors will drop off checks.  The result will be a beautifully arranged toy shop made available to more than 1,500 families selecting toys for more than 2,500 children and teens from our community.  This is the Season of Hope.  This is what it looks like to live in a community that cares.

The Season of Hope Toy Shop is made possible by so many generous and caring neighbors who contribute in a multitude of ways.  Enormous thanks are due to those who partner with Project Self-Sufficiency on the Season of Hope Toy Drive:  First Hope Bank, Gravity DesignWorks, iHeartMedia, Inc., Intercar Mercedes Benz, Newton VFW Post #5360, Off Shore Marine, Pass it Along, The Printing Center, The New Jersey Herald, Selective Insurance, Service Electric Broadband Cable, Shop Rite, Stocker Bus Company, Sussex County Chamber of Commerce, Sussex County Community College, Sussex Honda, Sussex Macaroni Kid, and the United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. 


Special commendation is due to law enforcement personnel from Newton and the surrounding areas, the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office, and the New Jersey State Police, who will volunteer their time to ensure the safety of the patrons, volunteers and staff at the Season of Hope Toy Shop.  We offer a special shout out to those officers in the Newton Police Department who will be donating funds as part of Double Down December.


We applaud the record-breaking 37 schools who are participating in this year’s Stuff the Stocking competition.  Thanks also to the Stocker Bus Company for donating the use of their buses and drivers to pick up toys from the participating schools and for assisting with transportation during the toy shop.


This year, three local fire departments – Allamuchy, Green and Newton – will be hosting toy collections as part of their Santa Breakfasts.  We are excited about working with you and we thank you for your enthusiastic support.


Thank you to the caring individuals, businesses, scouting troops, civic organizations, and churches which are working hard to collect new, unwrapped toys and gifts, and all those who will be donating funds for the purchase of gifts.  Thank you to the many, many volunteers who have already signed up to donate their time and energy to make the Toy Shop run smoothly.  We are also exceptionally grateful to the many singers and musicians who will be sharing their talents to entertain our guests and volunteers.


We must also spotlight the many Project Self-Sufficiency staff members who will be volunteering their time to operate the Season of Hope Toy Shop and whose ebullient spirit make this a joyous time of year for everyone.


In a time of so much strife in the world, it is wonderful to be reminded that endless kindness, goodness and hope exist right here in our own backyard.  These efforts help us to transform lives all year round, but the tremendous tidal wave of generosity at this time of year is truly inspiring.  


Wishing you a Season filled with Hope,

Deborah Berry-Toon,

Executive Director

A Message from the Executive Director