The 2015 GR8 Holiday Give begins


Six weeks from today is Christmas eve. News8 is working to make sure every child wakes up with a toy under the tree on Christmas morning, and to do it we need your help.

In New Britain this morning, we assembled two boxes with military precision, because News8 is supporting the Marines’ annual “Toys for Tots” campaign with our own “GR8 Holiday Give”. In the next few weeks, the boxes will be filled many times over with donated toys, then the Marines distribute them.

“Single families and not for profits request for toys, and we review it,” explained Staff Sgt. Romeo Chavez, USMC. “Once it’s approved, they come down to our warehouse and they collect their toys.”

To help collect those toys, those boxes are in the Access Health CT locations in downtown New Haven and New Britain.

“We’re really excited to be part of the GR8 Holiday Give this year. We are an official drop-off location; so our enrollment centers here in New Britain, at 200 Main Street, as well as in New Haven, at 55 Church Street, are open and accepting new unwrapped toy donations. We are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; or on Saturdays you can drop toys between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. [Plus], it’s a good time to come to Access Health Connecticut, as it is open enrollment time. Our open enrollment period to sign up for individual healthcare coverage runs through January 31st.”

When you do stop by, you can put your new, unwrapped toy in either the box with the blue label for Storm Team 8, or the red label for News8. It’s a friendly rivalry that started last year to see who can gather more toys, the news folks or the weather guys? Last year, weather won. By a lot. Here’s the thing, though: Remember what Chief Meteorologist Gil Simmons did before he was a weatherman? He was in the Marines. We asked Sgt. Chavez if that would sway his toy count.

“In an official capacity, I don’t think so, I think I would be rooting for everybody,” said Sgt Chavez. “The more toys we get, the better.”

In addition to Access Health CT, we’re also partnering with the employment specialists A.R. Mazzotta, with 4 more locations in Middletown, Wallingford, Watertown and Westbrook. Plus, you can drop off toys at the News8 studios in New Haven.

For a complete list of drop-off locations, visit the 2015 GR8 Holiday Give online.

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