Cayuga Centers' Second Annual Toy Drive Bringing Joy to Youth Nationwide

Cayuga Centers collects over 1,500 gifts for youth in its programs

AUBURN, N.Y., Jan. 25, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cayuga Centers celebrates the success of the agency's second holiday toy drive benefiting youth in its foster care and community-based intervention programs. This heartwarming initiative saw overwhelming participation from multiple regions, including Southeast Florida, Delaware, Pittsburgh, New York City, and upstate New York. Between November 6 and December 15, Cayuga Centers gathered gifts through monetary donations and an online wishlist, ensuring timely toy distribution to youth for the holidays.

In a significant expansion from previous years, Cayuga Centers included its in-home and community-based programs in the toy drive and set an ambitious goal of collecting 2,000 toys. The agency collaborated with dedicated community organizations and businesses, hit its goal, and ensured every youth in its programs received a gift for the 2023 holiday season. Cayuga Centers created specific wishlists to address the diverse needs of different regions. This thoughtful approach ensured that gifts were both appropriate and meaningful for the populations served in each area.

The agency’s programs in Albany, Auburn, Delaware, Fort Lauderdale, Miami-Dade, Oswego County, Palm Beach, Pittsburgh, Port St. Lucie, Rochester, Seneca County, Syracuse, Utica, and New York City were all served by the toy drive. Cindi Pagan, EVP of Upstate NY Behavioral Health Services, expressed gratitude for the overwhelming response in Upstate New York, "I want to thank all the community members who took an opportunity to make the lives of our children and family extra special this holiday season."

Toy distribution strategies were tailored to each location, allowing flexibility for offices to choose between direct gift delivery to foster parent homes, hosting holiday parties for foster parents to pick up gifts, or organizing special events for youth to select their desired gifts.

Community Partnership
To encourage community involvement, Cayuga Centers invited partners to host their own drives, donate monetary funds, or purchase 50+ gifts from our wishlists. Tiffany Guiles, a donor from Southeast Florida, shared what informed her commitment to leading a personalized and meaningful gift drive. "During a time of year that brings much joy, others often find it to be the most difficult. I wanted to make sure each and every child felt thought of and special. That's why I worked hard to ensure each child's gifts matched their interests and were age-appropriate," said the Palm Beach-based realtor.

President and CEO Edward Myers Hayes expressed deep appreciation for the success of the toy drive, stating, "We are grateful to all those who gave generously to make our toy drive a success. Their support brightened the holidays for hundreds of children and families." The agency looks forward to continuing to find ways to engage with the community.

Special thanks to our 2023 Holiday Toy Drive community partners:

  • Auburn VFW Auxiliary
  • Bear Givers Inc
  • Chiropractic Advantage Center
  • COOL Kids Inc.
  • Cool Moms of the Palm Beaches
  • Dilly’s
  • Dollar General-Newport
  • Keaton and Lloyd Bookshop
  • McDermott, Will, & Emery
  • Medent
  • OrangeTheory Fitness Miami Shores
  • Royal Care Pharmacy
  • Sessler Wrecking
  • SPI Fitness
  • Synergy Title
  • The Forum Group
  • Tiffany Guiles - So Flo Home Pros | Illustrated Properties
  • Truly Title
  • Voices for Children
  • Wegmans

About us:

Cayuga Centers is a nationally accredited and awarded 501(c)(3) non-profit human services agency headquartered in New York, NY. Founded in 1852, the agency has delivered quality services by following the agency’s core mission of helping individuals and families grow as independent, healthy, and productive citizens through quality counseling, out-of-home care, and support services. Cayuga Centers provides a continuum of support services nationally, with offices in over 15 cities. The agency specializes in providing individualized, culturally appropriate, and trauma-informed support to diverse populations. Cayuga Centers currently serves 10,000 individuals and families annually. Visit to learn about its services, how to become a foster parent, a foster care ambassador, and employment opportunities.

Media Contact:
Jasmine Lawrence
Media & Community Specialist