Middletown, NJ – Kristie Kane-Tapolow of HFCF, started the HFCF Holiday Toy Drive in 2009, which since has helped thousands of children in Monmouth County. HFCF partners with dozens of local organizations during the holidays and throughout the year in their efforts to give back to local children and families in need. Kristie shared that “the amount of people that responded to the request to help out a child or family this holiday season was overwhelming.” “It is inspiring to know people are willing to help complete strangers”. Besides individual donors HFCF received assistance from several local businesses including: Home Away from Home Academy, Infinite AV Solutions, The Wine Academy Superstores, East Keansburg Fire Company, Ideal Beach community association, RAINE Foundation, Blessings Bag Brigade, The Hinds/Pearly Group and the Hess Companies are a few of the many recent companies who have partnered with HFCF for the 2017 Toy Drive. Daniel Tapolow, Owner Infinite AV Solutions says “The reason that I love to work with HFCF is because 100% of the funds that are raised go direct to the cause. HFCF is one of the few charities in Monmouth County that is strictly volunteer.
Children helping children is an invaluable lesson that is taught at Home Away From Home Academy. Each year the school participates in a Toy Drive to benefit a local organization. For the fifth year in a row, their efforts were geared toward helping HFCF based in Middletown, NJ. Owner of the Academy Phyllis Visone says, “Having a child go out to purchase a toy for another child in need is one of the best ways to embrace the holiday season, in our eyes.” This year the HFCF toy drive helped over 300 local children in need as well as other family based organizations in Monmouth County. In past toy drives the school was recognized for its plentiful collection of items, collecting over 250 toys each year. Carmine S. Visone, co-owner, says “the most important thing here is teaching the children that it is just as important to give as it is to receive.” Some of the items they collected include: stuffed animals, coloring books, arts and crafts supplies, puzzles, sports items, Legos, Barbies, and more. New this year was Merchants City, Inc. who generously donated dozens of scooters, rollerblades, and skateboards, which certainly brightened the lives of many children. The Toy Drive started at the end of November, and culminated on December 13th when the ‘elves’ from HFCF picked up the collection of toys. The effort put forth by the Academy to help others is truly inspiring, and they will continue to assist a charity during the holiday season every year. The school has partnered with ProForm Physical Therapy on Route 34 in Aberdeen for the third year in a row. ProForm Physical Therapy collected for HFCF from their patients, and other respected colleagues. Dr. Leonard Somarriba, said, “When Carmine and Phyllis approached us to join them in this holiday giving effort, we immediately put out our toy box for collections; we were happy to help such a great cause”.
HFCF began in 2004 with a group of young professionals, entrepreneurs, and parents in Monmouth County working together to raise funds with the end result of making a significant positive difference in the lives of children. On an annual basis, HFCF identifies charitable organizations and individuals that will benefit from there fundraising efforts. Past beneficiaries aside from local families have included K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital, Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Arc of Monmouth County, Oasis TLC, Prevention 1st, YMCA, The Valerie Center at Monmouth Medical Center and more.