Eatontown, NJ (November 23, 2018) – Giving is at the heart of the holidays, and giving to those that are less fortunate is one of the most worthwhile ways to spread warmth and cheer during the holiday season.

Local residents and businesses are invited to help make the holidays brighter for struggling families in Monmouth County by giving to The Community YMCA’s annual holiday gift drive.

Coordinated by the Y’s Counseling and Social Services branch, the holiday gift drive helps to ensure that many of the county’s most vulnerable children and their families can experience the joy and surprise of the holiday season.

“At The Community YMCA, we are here to support and strengthen families,” said President and CEO Laurie Goganzer. “Through the generosity of our neighbors, our annual holiday gift drive brings smiles to the faces of the neediest of children and families who we serve, many of whom are victims of abuse, neglect, in the foster care system or who have special needs.”

In 2017, the Y was able to distribute more than $90,000 in gifts to over 500 children served by the Counseling and Social services team, Goganzer said.

“The Y is truly grateful for the community’s generosity throughout the year and especially during the holiday season,” said Colleen Verriest, the Y’s vice president of Counseling and Social Services. She noted that all gifts are personally delivered to the families and are tax-deductible. Here’s how to help:


Community members may “adopt” a family or child and help provide gifts from their “wish lists.”  Anyone who would like to participate in the Adopt-a-Family program will be able to choose a child or family.

Gift Donations

Unwrapped toys and gift cards are welcomed and may be dropped off at the following Y locations during business hours until Dec. 10, 2018:

  •     The Community YMCA Administration Office, 170 Patterson Avenue, Shrewsbury, NJ 07702
  •     YMCA Counseling and Social Services, 613 Hope Road, Building 4, 2nd Floor, Eatontown, NJ 07724
  •     YMCA Counseling and Social Services Outpatient, 166 Main Street, Matawan, NJ 07747

Amazon Wish List

Purchase a child’s gift from the Y’s Wish List on To view the Wish List, visit

Giving Tree

Local businesses are invited to display a “giving tree” and encourage their employees to participate by selecting an ornament with a child’s gift wish and returning the gift by Dec. 10, 2018.

For more information on how you can donate or set up a “giving tree,” call Emily Cooper at 732.544.4544, ext. 436.

About The Community YMCA

The Y is a leading nonprofit charity that strengthens communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Community YMCA serves more than 20,000 residents in greater Monmouth County, NJ through programs such as: preschool, before and after school care, summer day camp, teen leadership, arts enrichment, health and wellness and personal and family counseling. In 2017, the Y provided $871,250 in financial assistance and program subsidies to strengthen 1,746 children and families in Monmouth County. For more information, visit