Daryl Bleich Memorial Toy Drive
The day I met Daryl Bleich he had just driven by Hawthorne Foundation on Bradhurst Avenue on Route100 in Hawthorne.
His Mother had just passed away and he was looking for a sign from her on how he should honor her.
Well, he saw our sign and drove in. He asked how he could help our students.
We were so touched by his sensitivity and depth that we agreed it would be a good idea if he could help our students around the holidays. Many of our students were unable to celebrate the holidays and if he could conduct a Toy Drive it would help them immensely. Who knew how that gesture would turn into an over 30 year dedication to our students? The growth of the “Charity begins at Home” program was infused into the Hawthorne, Valhalla, and Tarrytown communities.
Every year in September we would get a call from Daryl letting us know he and his community of friends were beginning to raise money for the children. What do they need? Daryl would ask, year after year, then after a while he just knew. He also knew to get others involved. He saw that involving teenagers would be good for them and our students. So he began bringing the Valhalla High School Basketball Teams (male and female) to the event when Santa Claus visited. These students each enjoyed being involved with their yearly visits learning about others and helping others in need. Our children’s eyes twinkled and smiles beamed the day of the Toy delivery by Santa Claus. Daryl would wait and when Santa finished delivering the toys he would sneak across the street to his Mom bringing her a stuffed animal and telling her how much he loved her and how happy the children were to receive their presents.
Daryl had a loyal following and everyone was very glad to pitch in. How much we all learned from him about love, caring, and responsibility for your fellow man. He was tasked to “pay it forward” in a big way for hundreds of people over the past 26 years. How much we all love you Daryl. We will continue in your efforts and dream of helping others. We will not let you down. We will continue the “Daryl Bleich Memorial Charity Begins at Home” program for the community of Hawthorne and others. You, who gave so much of yourself to others, will be remembered in our actions as we move forward to continue your dream.
Your living in our community has made our world a better place. Thank you for all that you have done. You will always be remembered in our hearts and minds. All of your students will remember your words of encouragement and will strive to live their lives in your image.
How You Can Support
You can support our annual Memorial Toy Drive by Donating HERE
If you would like to volunteer your help or get involved in person please fill out this form.