POINT PLEASANT BEACH — St. Gregory’s Pantry is replacing its annual Toyland Gift Drive with a 2020 COVID-Conscious Christmas Gift Card Collection as a different way to aid families in need this holiday season.
“The directors and volunteers at St. Gregory’s Pantry are very grateful for all the generous previous donations from our community to our annual Toyland Gift Drive,” organizers announced in a press release. “This year, the COVID-19 pandemic necessitates a change in our gift drive.”
“In order to keep everyone safe and yet provide a happy holiday for many of our neighbors, we will be distributing gift cards only. Families will then be able to shop online or in-person for their children as they see fit.”
The group is inviting residents to help out their local community by purchasing gift cards in any amount to be donated to families to buy Christmas gifts.
St. Gregory’s suggests gift cards be from local businesses, big box stores like Walmart and Target, drug stores, supermarkets, book stores, toy stores, health and beauty stores and fast-food restaurants. Visa/Master gift cards are also accepted as donations for families.
Cards may be dropped off directly at St. Gregory’s Pantry, located at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, at the Atlantic Avenue entrance, on weekdays between 10 a.m. and noon.
The collection began on Nov. 2. Organizers ask that donations be made before Dec. 14 to ensure timely distribution to families before Christmas.
Organizer Connie Maas said with COVID-19 cases on the rise, the group is taking extra precautions.
The pantry has been working on its Thanksgiving distribution and keeping its volunteers and clients safe.
“The food pickup, we’ve packed things ahead of time and people are literally coming to our door and we sort of pass it out,” said Ms. Maas.
“We are being very, very cautious at this point,” she added.
For more information on the holiday card drive or any St. Gregory’s Pantry initiatives, visit stgregoryspantry.org.
This is an excerpt of the print article. For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.
Subscribe today! If you're not already an annual subscriber to The Ocean Star, get your subscription today! For just $34 per year, you will receive local mail delivery weekly, with pages and pages of local news and online access to our e-edition on Starnewsgroup.com.