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Published:January 4th, 2009 16:13 EST

Century 21 Greengarden Monroe and Santa Claus Join Forces to Gather Toys for Inner-City Children

By Jennifer L. Hernandez

Monroe, CT - January 4, 2009 - According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 12.8 million children live in poverty in the United States. Many of these children do not receive presents during the holiday season, due to this economic disposition.

However, this holiday season, there were a hundred extra smiles on the faces of children thanks to the efforts of Cal Massaro, Century 21 Greengarden Realtor and Terry O`Connor, Executive Director of the Cardinal Shehan Center. Massaro coordinated the Annual Toy Drive to benefit the children of the Cardinal Shehan Center, a non-profit organization located in Bridgeport, CT.

The center has been adamant about serving the youth of low-income families of lower Fairfield County, especially the inner city of Bridgeport by providing recreational and educational programs.

The toy drive took place on Sunday, December 21, 2008 at the Century 21 Greengarden Monroe office, located on 241 Monroe Turnpike in Monroe, CT. Despite the weather, which brought snow, sleet, rain, hail and everything reminiscent of a New England snow storm, over ninety individuals attended the toy drive.

"It was an amazing site to see," said Massaro. "Families were coming with their children to donate toys for other children, regardless of the inclement weather. This is testament to the spirit of the holiday giving season."

The families were met by Santa Claus, who sported a new sleigh: a 50 horsepower, blue smart car. Sorry, Rudolph. The children had their pictures taken with Santa and enjoyed sweet treats donated by John DiMarco of Luigi`s Bakery in Bridgeport, CT. The toy drive collected over 100 toys for the children of the Cardinal Shehan Center.