State Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, D-Bayside, said more than 25 local schools and numerous residents delivered thousands of donations for his annual Valentines for Vets drive.
The drive was originally founded by former state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza 17 years ago. This year, Braunstein and Carrozza were joined by Community Board 11 and local doctor William Duke to collect gifts for hospitalized veterans in Queens.
“[The] donations helped to brighten the day of hundreds of veterans by showing the that we care about them and appreciate their sacrifices,” Braunstein said.
Thousands of donations of candy, hand-written cards, new clothing items, playing cards, puzzles and toiletries were received from district schools, civic and religious organizations, senior clubs and local residents.
Braunstein and his staff delivered the gifts to men and women at the St. Albans Community Center of the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System and the state veterans home in St. Albans.
“We asked the residents of northeast Queens to consider making a hospitalized veteran their Valentine this year and they answered that appeal by generously donating thousands of items for our hospitalized heroes,” Carrozza said.
Schools and organizations that took part in the drive included the Bayside Hills Civic Association, Benjamin N. Cardozo High School, Divine Wisdom Academy, Bell Academy, P.S. 41, P.S. 98, St. Robert Bellarmine School and many others.