HARRISON, N.Y. -- A small project started six years ago by three friends as a way to help the needy during the holidays, has turned into Harrison's Holiday Project that raised more than $20,000 this year.
Kathy Frankel, Nina Marraccini and Marlane Amelio started the tradition in 2010 to deliver more than 70 packages to families in need. Since the Holiday Project was started, the number of families in need in Harrison has grown from 72 to 110. This includes more than 156 residents, including 17 elderly people and 136 children.
Last year's Holiday Project brought in more than $17,000 for needy families through the donations of 83 individuals, businesses and organizations. This year $20,200 was raised in order to assist approximately 343 individuals and 118 local families.
All of the donations of $150 go toward assembling gift baskets for families in need. The gift baskets included a grocery gift card, a toy for each child, a small gift for parents and a pizza gift certificate. A small portion of the money raised go toward stocking the Harrison Food Pantry.
This year, the primary contribution of toys came from the members of the Purchase Community House, Parsons Elementary School, All Saints Church, the Presbyterian Church and the Authentic Church.
In addition, the Police Benevolent Association and the Harrison Police Department distributed the gifts.