By Christine Valdez
Web Production Assistant
It’s the holiday season and Christmas arrived early for the children at New Community Harmony House as New York Giants Punter Steve Weatherford and Newark Mayor Luis Quintana delivered gifts.
On Tuesday, Weatherford and Quintana — along with Second Chance Toys and 1-800-GOT-JUNK? — delivered toys to about 100 children from New Community Harmony House. The visit from Weatherford and Quintana is the third time New Community received a visit from Second Chance Toys, according to Director of Communications at New Community Corporation Angela Stewart.
The reactions from the children at the facility ranged from smiles, laughter and even shouts of glee and questions of “Is that for me?” Stewart said.
Weatherford, who has worked with Second Chance Toys for several years, partnered with Qunitana after being introduced by his friend Don Shauger. After working with the organization for years, Weatherford says he is proud and honored to be a part of everything they do.
“I have three kids of my own and I realize how blessed we are every day,” said Weatherford. “I also know what is like to come from a humble family and to want for things. Because of the position I am in now with this wonderful career on the New York Giants, I look for ways that I can give back to my community — especially the children.”
The children were not the only ones to enjoy the event at New Community Harmony House. Some of the children’s parents took in the moment as well.
“I think it is awesome that they are giving back to the community,” said Samantha Reese, a resident at New Community Harmony House.
Over the years since its creation, Second Chance Toys began annual toy drives to impact the lives of children and give back to the community, according to Shelly Lipton of Second Chance Toys and GrownUp Marketing.
Weatherford said the event felt right.
“It was such a special experience to come into the Harmony House homeless shelter with a Santa hat on and bags full of toys in my hands and to see the kids light up,” said Weatherford. “I spent some time with them — playing with their new toys — and I felt right at home because it’s what I do every day with my kids. No child should ever go without toys and I am happy to do my small part with Second Chance Toys to make that a reality.”