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White Plains Senior Collects Toys for Head Start

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- When Jeffrey Bosmediano’s Eagle Scout Troop 73 undertook community projects, the White Plains High School senior thought back to his days as a toddler in the Family Services of Westchester’s Head Start Program.

Bosmediano, 17, began collecting toys for Head Start students as a holiday gift to the early child care program that once benefited his family.

“I thought, ‘How could I give back to the program after what they’ve done for me?' That’s when I thought about the toy drive. I knew that many of the students there came from poor families and many of their families wouldn’t be able to provide a holiday gift,” said Bosmediano, who said he still remembers teachers from his Head Start days. “I thought that would be the best way to help.”

Bosmediano began planning the toy drive in August with help from his parents and scout master. He then gathered fellow scouts to help decorate donation bins, which were set up in the Citgo gas station on Mamaroneck Avenue, Church Street Elementary School and JCF Decoration and Upholstry And Window Treatment on E. Post Road.

Next, Bosmediano organized a flier distribution and picked up toys from White Plains families who dialed the number included in the project description. About 43 Eagle Scouts then scoured their own homes for extra toys, which provided Bosmediano with “a good amount of toys.”

A few local businesses gave toys, gift wrap or monetary support for the toy drive, which succeeded the goal of providing each of the 195 Head Start students with a present.

“I have collected well over 200 toys. There are 194 children in the Head Start program, however, I was able to get a couple of toys for their Early Head Start Program, which is for newborns to age three,” said Bosmediano, whose father was the president of the policy council for the local Head Start program.

A few Troop 73 members spent two and a half hours wrapping the gifts Tuesday with help from Head Start assistants. The Bosmediano family then finished up the remaining presents before delivering them on Wednesday.

“Although it was meant to be a little bit of a surprise, some of the little children did see the toys and they were like, ‘Wow,’” said Bosmediano. “It was a very nice feeling.”

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