Shore Area Charity Seeking Toys And Clothes For The Holidays
The holidays are just around the corner. One shore based charity wants to ensure that all children have a visit from Santa Claus.
From now until the third week of December, Madonna House in Neptune is collecting new toys and clothes for those in need. Founder and Director Rebecca Blonski tells us "the demand continues to increase with each passing year. This is the 26th year."
Blonski, the mother of eleven children, nine of whom are adopted, says the idea for the Madonna House began soon after she adopted her first child from Juarez Mexico. She says her adopted son was one of 13 children and half of them died of starvation or lack of sanitary conditons. She says she was so moved when she returned from Juarez that she prayed for guidance to do something the help. Blonski says the idea came to her to begin collecting items for the needy in the Neptune area while she was en route to a clothing drive in Trenton.
Blonski said the Madonna House isn't affiliated with any particular church but considers her nonprofit a faith-based organization because she says their purpose is to serve others. "We get donations from all different churches. We even get them from Jewish organizations, all Christian organizations and we turn no one away. When people need something. We do ask that they get a referral to come here."
"We are not looking for extravagant or expensive toys and gifts. We are just looking to bring a little joy and happiness to children in need. On behalf of all our volunteers, we greatly appreciate your time and any gifts that you would consider giving for local needy children. Thank you and God bless you. "
The Madonna House also will not accept federal, state, county or local funding of any kind. Blonski says "everything that we give away or sell has been donated by very kind and generous individuals who cherish and support our work." There's also no paid staff. Blonski says they're an all-volunteer 501.3ccharity. She says they are supported by an adjoining thrift shop. "Since I opened up the thrift store, people give us beautiful items and people love to shop thrift stores … but our thrift store is special because it's so beautiful it looks like a boutique!"
Blonski says everyday for them is Christmas. "If we can only help one person it would make it all worth it but we help thousands", she says with a chuckle.
The Madonna House Thrift Store is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. located at 1401, 7th Avenue, Neptune N.J. 07753. Phone# 848-469-0102
You can drop off any of the items at that location.