Two little girls in Rome, age 6 and 2, are helping save Christmas for the less fortunate in central New York.

Isabella and Liliana are collecting toys for kids this Christmas with the Isabella and Liliana Toy Drive. This is the fifth year for the drive, that has collected more than 3,000 toys over the years. "We are hoping for an outpouring this year more than ever," said mom Shannon Todora. "With so many more families facing financial hardships this year, more families will need assistance during the holidays and we are hoping we can help."

The toy drive started in 2016, bringing in over 500 toys, and grows bigger each year. "Each year Isabella understands more and more about what we are doing and why," said Shannon. "She has already been asking when we can go shopping for toys because she wants to make sure we get one for every kid that needs one."

Isabella's sister Liliana is 2 this year and is just starting to grasp the importance of giving back, especially during the holiday season. "She knows we are collecting toys for other kids and we get to be special helpers."

The toy drive is slightly different this year due to the coronavirus. People can still drop off toys at several locations, but anyone not comfortable dong that can also make monetary donations. "We are offering a Venmo option as well," said Shannon. "People can donate at IsabellaLiliana_ToyDrive and we will shop for the best deals to put all the funds to good use."

Isabella and Liliana are already close to half way to the monetary goal this year.

Toys will be accepted through December 5th and can be dropped off at several locations.

Toy Drop Off Locations:
All Creatures
Bouton Physical Therapy
Cycle Shack
J.M. Uvanni Motors
John Hayes O’Neill
Just Teasing’
KDK Sports

All toys will be donated to the Marine Corps League and Toys for Tots. "My husband, Dave was a Marine, so the partnership felt like the perfect tie-in," Shannon explained.

The toy drive culminates at The Mill in Rome on December 5th from noon to 4pm with Donate a Coat, a charity run by Jackie Dominic-Zbiegien. New, unwrapped toys and gently worn coats collected during the event will be given to the Rome Rescue Mission.

"When I started this, my hope was that she would be able to take this over one day, and with how big her heart is, I have no doubt in my mind that once she is old enough, she will take this to a level I couldn’t even imagine."

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