The spirit of giving was alive and well within the UFT during the December holidays and children were the beneficiaries. The union’s annual holiday party for children in need could not be held as usual due to the pandemic, but the union’s Elementary Schools Division came through by collecting just a shade under $22,000 which paid for thousands of toys. UFT members donated hundreds more toys by shipping them or delivering them to UFT offices in all five boroughs. The toys were then distributed to a host of shelters throughout the city as well as to New York City public schools with the highest homeless student populations. Jenna Brown, a school psychologist at PS 138 in Manhattan, one of the schools that received toys, said, “The delivery of toys from the UFT to our students made it feel like Christmas.” Meanwhile, the union’s Brooklyn borough office teamed up with First Book for a book giveaway on Dec. 18. Betty Zohar, the UFT Brooklyn parent and community liaison, reported that about 200 parents turned out for the event and 4,000 books were given away.
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