YONKERS N.Y. - A blonde Barbie, a big red race car and a wizard-themed box of Legos were just a few of the toys some Yonkers students carried to the nearby fire station to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Students from Yonkers’ Patricia DiChiaro Elementary School marched several blocks from their school to Fire Station 11, where they donated the toys as part of the school's Hurricane Sandy Holiday Toy Drive.
The firefighters will deliver the toys to the Tunnel to Towers Hurricane Relief Center in Long Beach, where they will be given to children whose homes were destroyed by the storm.
Fire Station 11 Captain John Folkerts said a teacher at the school whose father used to be a firefighter inspired the event.
"The station usually does a coat drive every year around the holidays but never anything like this," Folkerts said. "I had no idea so many kids were going to be involved, but they really stepped up for a good cause. Sandy was such a tragedy, but like tragedies in the past we take care of our own. The fact that kids are donating the toys is just so awesome."
The school usually participates in "Toys for Tots," but adapted it to "Children for Children" this year, said Principal Patricia Langan.
"The students were all just so thrilled to be able to give something to the children impacted most by Sandy," Langan said. "It's the holiday season and they are all in the spirit of giving. They've been telling me how they couldn't wait to walk to the fire station. Some of them even wanted to go to Long Island with the firefighters."
Bryant Pintado, 11, was one of the many students donating gifts, and said he gave a Lego set because it's what he would've wanted.
"It's the holidays and many of these people have just lived through something horrible," Pintado said. "You can't have Christmas without toys, so I hope that my gift makes someone happy, and helps them forget about all the bad things. Even though it's small, I know that Legos can make a big difference somewhere."