Many people donate toys to charity during the holiday season, but one Manhattan philanthropist has taken that idea to an unusual extreme. Carol Suchman is donating the contents of an entire toy store to homeless children.
The idea occurred to the venture capitalist while walking near her home in New York's West End. When she realized the Hudson Party Store that had gone out of business was still filled with inventory, she got the idea to buy and donate them all to charity. She says she donates toys anonymously every year, but her efforts this year have drawn national attention.
"When I saw this toy store, I just realized I could do it on a grander scale for this one year," Ms. Suchman hold the Houston-based ABC 13 News. "We talked and negotiated and bought the entire toy store."
The contents of the store included thousands of toys, most of which are unopened and new. Shuman contacted Liz Hopfan from the Free Arts NYC nonprofit and Antonio Rodriguez from the Department of Homeless Services for help.
"I emailed [Mr. Rodriguez] and said 'I just bought a toy store, can you help?'" Suchman told Today.com. "He got right back to me and laughed and said, 'No one has ever said that before.'"
The donations, numbering in their thousands and including toys, stuffed animals, and school supplies, were boxed up and shipped to the city’s Department of Homeless Services. The donations arrived in time to be distributed this holiday season.
"I've been doing this for many years and we have many generous sponsors," Rodriquez told ABC 13 News. "But I have to say that this is the first time anybody ever bought out an entire store and donated to the children of shelters."
Suchman's family started a tech company in New York that became a success and she has chosen to share that financial success with needy children. The mother of three has preferred to remain anonymous in the past, she agreed to allow her name to be released after Mr. Rodriguez told her "one story often inspires others to take actions."
She declined to reveal how much she paid for the lot of toys, but has plans to attend at least one of the shelters where her toys are being distributed, according to Today.com.
"I know everyone can use a gift around the holidays," Suchman told NY 1 News.