Bay Shore’s Zoila Ampuero is a college senior who needed to complete a civil service project.

The hospitality management major has to give back to the community. She found the perfect way after speaking with a frequent customer at her job at Dulce De Leche Cake Shop in Brightwaters.

That person is involved with Angela’s House — an organization that works to provide a comfortable life for medically-fragile children.

As she learned more about the nonprofit, she knew she wanted to help.

“Anything that I wanted to do charitable would have to be for someone that I know is doing it for the people,” Ampuero said. “I feel like it’s so hard to find an actual organization that helps the people directly.” 

The toy drive starts tomorrow, Nov. 3, and runs until Nov. 24 — right before Thanksgiving. 

There are four locations where participants can drop off new, unwrapped toys: 

  • Dulce de Leche Cake Shop at 346 N. Windsor Ave. in Brightwaters
  • Charisma Hair Salon at 387 N. Windsor Ave. in Brightwaters
  • Campbell’s Bakery at 794 Suffolk Ave. in Brentwood
  • Deli Bagelman Bagels at 1395 Montauk Hwy. in Copiague

Ampuero said so far she has received help with promotion from the Bay Shore Lion’s Club and other community members. 

The college student said she hopes the toy drive will help families who are struggling during the pandemic, especially those with children who are more susceptible to the virus. 

“We are in COVID-19, this is something that is very new to everybody, and I thought what better time to make a kid’s life a little bit better than Christmas in a pandemic,” Ampuero said. “I want to make sure, even if it’s one toy for each kid, that they are able to get anything to help them out for this Christmas. 

She said if all goes well, she would consider continuing the toy drive in the future. 

“Just to see people supporting a toy drive for kids who are medically-fragile in the position that we are in right now, makes me so happy,” she said.  

Below is the official flyer for the toy drive and details of where to donate.

Top: Photo from Angela’s House 2019 Holiday Party provided by angelashouse.org.