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Clarence Center, NY - After Hurricane Sandy hit, many of us could not forget the images of the damage.

While we gave to the Red Cross and Western New York emergency responders traveled to support our neighbors downstate, a woman in Clarence Center came up with an idea to help brighten the holidays.

Debbie Lesinski started a Holiday Gift Drive to lift some spirits, "...to let them know we're thinking of you. We know it's the holidays. We know it's difficult times, but we hope this helps to let you know that we all care."

So far, Lesinski estimates more than 1,500 gifts have been donated to businesses in Clarence Center. So, many they will now be dropping off to two locations downstate. There's still a need for donations, especially for children toddler to age 19.

They are collecting gifts for all ages, such as new clothing, blankets, toys, lotions, housewares. The gifts should be unwrapped, so volunteers can sort them by age. Debbie and another volunteer will accompany the donated truck and driver to Far Rockaway to distribute the gifts.

Joanie Clover, Holiday Gift Drive Volunteer says, "I'm hoping that the reaction is tears and thankfulness and comfort. And, that people knowing that no matter where we live or where we are in our lives that other people care."

You can show you care by leaving a new, unwrapped gift at one of the following locations:

The Perfect Gift at the corner of Clarence Center and Goodrich Road

Goodrich Coffee and Tea at Main and Goodrich Road

Salon in the Tower at Main and Shisler Road in the Victoria Park Plaza

Wild Horse Wine & Spirits in the Tops Plaza at North French and Transit Road

Donations will be accepted until December 8th.

For more information on volunteering or donating, you can contact Debbie Lesinski by phone at 741-4233 or email at debralesinski@gmail.com.

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