LEWISBORO, N.Y. When Max and Maribel Mallett, twins from Lewisboro, planned their 10th birthday celebration last month, they decided there were other children who were more in need of gifts during the holiday season. So they asked their friends to donate the gifts to the countys annual Holiday Gift Drive for children in foster care.
As a result of Max and Maribels generosity, more than 50 gifts were donated.
The twins were recognized for their efforts on Thursday, Dec. 15 by County Executive Rob Astorino, who invited them to his office in White Plains.
A special thank you goes to Max and Maribel for setting an example for all of us to remember how lucky we are and how important it is to help others, said Astorino. Their giving spirit means dozens of children will have gifts to open.
Also in attendance were their mother, Rhea Mallett, and their grandparents, Helene and David Schaenman.
Mirabel said she got the idea to donate her birthday presents because "I thought I didn't want or need any more gifts," and she knew there were others who were less fortunate.
Max said that he frequently visits New York City, where he has observed many homeless people and that made him realize how lucky he and his sister are.
The countys Holiday Gift Drive began in 2003 by Barbara Sabater, an employee in the Department of Social Services, in an effort to collect gifts for all the children in Westchester County foster care. In the last eight years, the drive has annually provided gifts for more than 800 children in foster care, as well as children receiving other services from the department.
The need for contributions of gifts remains high, particularly for teenagers in the foster care system. The collection boxes in county buildings will remain until Dec. 20. Monetary donations may also be made to the WCDSS Holiday Gift Drive, 112 E. Post Road, White Plains 10601. Further information is also available by calling 914-995-4979.
Co-sponsors of the toy drive are WFAS Radio, The Law Office of Michael S. Goldstein (Rye Brook), NinaMaria's Italian Restaurant & Bar (Valhalla), Tranquility Spa (Scarsdale), Toy Box (Mamaroneck).
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