ORANGE, NJ — Orange’s annual Toys for Tots drive took place at Inner City Cafe in Orange on Friday, Dec. 9. Hosted by mayoral secretary Cheryl Davis-Marshall, the night included great food, music and plenty of gifts donated and placed under the decorated Christmas tree throughout the night. Esteemed guests at the event included New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairperson Leroy J. Jones Jr., Orange Mayor Dwayne D. Warren and Councilwoman Adrienne Wooten.
“This is a blessing that you are providing to those in need, which will be multiplied unto you,” Jones said at the event. “So, from my family to yours, thank you for coming and helping others.”
Davis-Marshall started this drive in 2012 and has led the efforts behind this annual event since 2014. She has distributed more than 100,000 toys to families in need through this drive over the past decade.
“I’ve been blessed to have many supporters for my cause. I couldn’t have done all of this by myself. God has made a way all the time for my toy drive to be a success,” Davis-Marshall told the Record-Transcript. “My goal for this year is to reach as many children as possible; my efforts will not be in vain.”
Helping people is the motivating factor that has led Warren to get involved with this effort each year for the past 10 years.
“Helping to improve the lives of families in my city makes a world of difference to me,” Warren told the Record-Transcript. “My goal is to continue to do this drive forever, or until families don’t need any help.”
Davis-Marshall is still as inspired now as she was when she put on this drive 10 years ago.
“I came from a single-parent home; my mother worked very hard doing domestic work to provide for her children,” Davis-Marshall said. “I know what it’s like being raised in hard times. I wanted to be that person to help make way for the less fortunate and/or people having hard times.”
Through community efforts, many local children are assured of receiving a Christmas gift this winter.
“I love the participation of city employees, donations from local businesses and local involvement to be festive and spread Christmas cheer to everyone,” Warren said. “Through the effort of every person involved, we help thousands of kids and families per year to get what they need and have a merry Christmas.”
Photos by Javon Ross