“When planning our annual Holiday event, I did not think twice on where the proceeds were going. The Holiday Toy Drive hosted by The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project is one of the most organized events I have ever experienced. I had no idea what they did until I saw it firsthand, I was in awe of what they accomplish.” – Past Collaborator
“Thank you so much for the toys. My kids will love them. Thank you to all that helped put this together. Have a happy holiday and new year” – Past toy recipient family member
“I just left the toy drive today. I was so surprised and grateful for all the great toys, clothes, stocking stuffers and other stuff they had for my son. I cannot thank you guys enough and to everyone who donated. It truly means the world!” - Past toy recipient family member
“All of the staff and volunteers of The Zipper Junction Project™ were so amazing, sweet and very helpful. I don’t know what I would have done if they did not start this amazing program to help make children’s holidays special. Thank you so much” - Past toy recipient family member
On March 13th, life the way we knew it had changed, from that day forward, including something as simple as providing a physical gift for The Holiday Toy Drive, hosted by The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™. A pandemic cannot take away the true meaning behind bringing happiness to the faces of our community’s children. The Holiday Donation Drive needs your help!
The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™ needs the support of many annually, to Leverage Skills to effectively achieve the goals set for this event. By Igniting Passions in citizens of the community, The Holiday Donation Drive is one small piece of how The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™ and combined efforts of the community can guarantee they are Building Futures that are meaningful, positive, bright, and happy for kids AND Neighborhoods, especially during the holiday season. This year we need monetary donations, not toys.
The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™ hosts The Holiday DONATION Drive in 2020 to brighten the lives of community children in Pike and Wayne Counties! “We just need to do this”, says Jim Zumpone, Chief Visionary and Founder of The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™. “Communities all around the world have been negatively impacted by these unprecedented times, and it is also happening right here in Pike and Wayne Counties. Many families may not even have the ability to put food on their tables or pay their rent, let alone provide some gifts for their children. Our local children deserve happiness this holiday season.”
It all began with two people, sitting across from one another at a board room table, “We just have to do this”, she said, “Do what”, he said, “This, we need to help the community, who else is going to do it”, she said. The conversation continued as he went home to discuss with his family, his loving wife, and two supportive children agreed. He came back to the table, and it was that moment in 2017, just a few short weeks before the holidays, that they knew there was no turning back. With the help of so many people volunteering their time, website pages were built, forms were created for families to register their children, volunteers signed up, boxes were delivered throughout hundreds of miles throughout the two-county region, sponsors were identified, events & fundraisers were held. A community came together, without question, without hesitation, in support of a program meant to bring meaning to the lives of many families and smiles on the faces of the children who would be the recipients of thousands of gifts.
Two hundred plus business locations hosting toy collection boxes, an ever-increasing sum of donations and gifts collected, and volunteers aged 6 to 72 sorting and arranging gifts by age category all to help hundreds of children of families in need. It did not end there, donations of a building to house the event, tables provided by local fire companies, shopping carts from a local grocery store, there to carry hand selected items as families walked the aisles of thousands of gifts by age 0 - 18, and one by one each family selected age appropriate gifts for their children. Donations of food for the many volunteers, who selflessly provided their time to give back to their community, fundraisers to stuff a truck, tractor and jeep, billboard space was donated, and if that wasn’t enough, a local entrepreneur hosted the Santa Express inviting volunteers to collect toys and donations on location each weekend. It would also not have been possible without a local radio station & car dealership who annually support the event hosting a Toy Drive Challenge, and everyone involved, who with the community’s support, filled this past year the equivalent of nine pickup trucks with toys.
Over 60 volunteers, $100,000+ in toys and donations, as well as literally thousands of miles traveled, hundreds and hundreds of hours worked, and all to bring joy to deserving kids around the holidays. That is why they do what they do, and that is what it takes to do it. Whether participation was a single hour of time, a single dollar donated, or an entire pickup truck full of toys donated by one very special 10 year old young lady selling baked goods to raise over $1500 dollars, the communities of Wayne and Pike Counties should be so thankful they have such kind and generous people living among them.
Fast forward to present day, this year the program now known as The Holiday DONATION Drive 2020, is a revamp of The Holiday Toy Drive… that successful annual Toy Drive that began in 2017. This year it will be based solely on monetary donations and not the collection of physical gifts. Unlike previous years where toys and gifts were collected at over 200 toy drop box locations and distributed at a three day event, much like shopping at a store, this year will be very different. There will be three phases to the program. From mid-September until the end of October (and into November) will be the fundraising phase where a goal of $125,000 will be achieved. When the goal is substantially met enough to continue, applications will be accepted online from approximately the end of October through mid-November. After complete vetting of applicants, distribution of funds will be through digital format at the very beginning of December, allowing families to purchase online and receive gifts for children by the end of the month.
Although The Holiday Donation Drive is their annual gift to the community, The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™ invites everyone to participate to help make a difference in the lives of the community’s children! “We need to protect the families and our volunteers as well as follow all guidelines for gatherings and social distancing”, said Jim Zumpone. “We have spent countless hours looking at all of the possibilities to make this happen. We even went to social media asking for the opinions of community members regarding our ideas and approach. The consistent answer was, ‘we are here to support your efforts in any we can’.”
For the 2020 season, individuals and businesses are encouraged to host their own events that will help generate monetary donations to meet the needed goal during the fundraising phase. Time is of the essence.
About The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™
The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™ is a local non-profit organization made up of a very unique and diverse group of individuals who are driven by the common belief that we can do better as a community through hands on experiences, project based learning and physical activities. We are driven to bring a place called ZIPPER JUNCTION™ to life. The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™ was conceived, researched, designed, and is now happening! Helping someone discover their passion in life is the single most important thing, and this is to be supported and cultivated. To read more about The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™, please visit www.ZipperJunction.org
- Kristina DellaSorte
- Patrick Connors
- Holly Przasnyski
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