State of New Jersey Annual Holiday Toy Drive Gets a Generous Boost from DCA Employees

DCA Deputy Commissioner Donates Dozens of Toys to
Mercer Street Friends in Trenton

New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Deputy Commissioner BettyLou DeCroce, at right, presents new toys donated by DCA employees as part of the State of New Jersey annual toy drive to Eileen Francisco, Program Coordinator of Mercer Street Friends, a community-based agency in Trenton that assists people in need.

TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Department of Community Affairs' (DCA) Deputy Commissioner BettyLou DeCroce today presented new toys donated by DCA employees to Mercer Street Friends, a community-based agency in Trenton serving individuals and families in need. The State of New Jersey annual toy drive began November 28th and the DCA collected an estimated 80 toys and gifts in just over two weeks.

"It is refreshing to see New Jersey's state workers, including those here at the DCA, making a concerted effort to spare some extra time and money so that disadvantaged children can have gifts to look forward to this holiday," said Deputy Commissioner DeCroce. "The success of this toy drive shows the extent to which our people will come together for a great cause, contributing what they can for our youngest residents in need."

The toy drive ran until today for guaranteed distribution of gifts by Christmas, and involved collecting new and unwrapped games, dolls, coloring books and other fun items for children from infancy to age 18. Last year, more than 3,200 toys were donated by state workers and delivered to organizations and families across the state.

Donations gathered at State offices based in Trenton were divided among local non-profit agencies at the discretion of each department. Other state agencies, facilities, and regional and satellite offices designated non-profit organizations in their respective areas for distribution.

Mercer Street Friends is a Quaker-affiliated, nonsectarian human care organization dedicated to the creation of a nurturing environment in which individuals may achieve independence, community and quality of life. The organization serves more than 20,000 people a year from seven locations and 15 program sites, including the historic original location in the Mill Hill section of Trenton. Their programs serve infants, children, youth, parents and adults, and the disabled and elderly with funding by a combination of private donations, government funds, foundation grants and user fees.

To donate to Mercer Street Friends or to learn more about the organization, visit or call Robert LeFever at (609) 656-5209 for more information.