NAWCAD Lakehurst spreads holiday cheer through annual toy drive

By Allison Murawski | NAWCAD Lakehurst Public Affairs | Dec. 18, 2019

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. —

Sailors and Navy civilians from the Lakehurst side of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst recently donated toys to low-income families as part of the 44th Annual Navy Lakehurst Giving Tree program.

Approximately 200 children ages three-five from the Brick, Manchester and Toms River Head Start Centers in Ocean County, New Jersey, received a toy from their holiday wish list donated by volunteers from the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Lakehurst.

"We are proud of the strong relationship between NAWCAD Lakehurst and our local community in Ocean County,” said Kathleen Donnelly, NAWCAD Lakehurst executive director. “The Giving Tree is one of the ways we are able to give back and show our appreciation for the community's support of Lakehurst throughout its nearly 100-year history."

Santa Claus and his “elves” from NAWCAD Lakehurst and Naval Support Activity (NSA) Lakehurst delivered the toys to the Head Start centers the week of Dec. 9. The children opened their presents and posted for photos with Santa, which teachers will share with their parents.

“The O.C.E.A.N., Inc. Head Start Program is very thankful for our continued partnership with the Naval Lakehurst Giving Tree Program,” said Sharon Hopson, O.C.E.A.N., Inc. Head Start education coordinator. “This partnership spans over many years and continues to grow every year. It is so great to see the smiling faces when the children open their gifts and realize it is something they asked Santa for. The generosity of the Giving Tree Program continues to benefit our families during this trying time of the year.”