East Orange welcomes annual holiday toy caravan

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EAST ORANGE, NJ — The blaring horns of the decorated fire trucks were the first thing children heard as the vehicles filled with toys made their way through the streets of East Orange for the annual holiday toy caravan on Friday, Dec. 20.

Handing out more than 1,000 toys during the toy caravan, East Orange Mayor Ted Green and the East Orange City Council, along with Santa and Mrs. Claus, spread Christmas cheer throughout the city and successfully brought the holiday spirit to the doorstep of East Orange residents.

“This is the season of giving, and we are beyond grateful for the outpouring of support we received from our staff,” said the mayor in a statement within the press release. “The joy of seeing the children’s faces light up when we drive up to their homes is priceless.”

Seeing the decorated trucks stopping at residences, children lined the streets.

Making more than 50 individual stops through the city, the holiday toy caravan surprised children in all five wards with toys, bikes and warm winter accessories. The caravan also included helpers from the Eta Pi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., East Orange General Hospital, the Corvette Boyz, Alpha Lodge No. 116 and Golconda Temple No. 24, decorated fire trucks, police cars and other municipal vehicles.

“Holiday time is the most joyous time of the year,” said 2nd Ward Councilman Christopher Awe in a quote sent to the Record-Transcript on Tuesday, Jan. 7. “The ability to put the endless smiles on the faces of hundreds of kids, bringing joy to dozens of families, is one of the best feelings as an elected official. We did it in grand fashion, with all the pomp and circumstance that Santa deserves. This serves to be a memorable moment in the lives of our families and youth here. It was a community affair. We were able to give gifts to all the kids and families along the way. That’s a true blessing.”

Photos Courtesy of Connie Jackson