A Ridgewood resident is asking the public to bring some joy this holiday season to Shore families still feeling the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy.
Kayleigh Smith, whose family owns Mac Murphy's bar, will be bringing Christmas presents to three families now forced to live in Point Pleasant motels and hotels.
"These children have been through so much in the past few months – they were displaced from their homes, havent been able to go back to school, have been separated from their friends, and lost most of their belongings," Smith told Patch.
In total, there are 20 children in need. Seven girls, aged 4-11, are in need of presents; nine boys, aged 3-14 could also use gifts, Smith said. Among those with nothing, Smith said, are also a pair of 16-month-old boy/girl twins; a four-month-old girl and a one-year-old boy.
"If anyone would be willing to donate new, unwrapped toys it would be greatly appreciated," she said. "To me, they're the ones that deserve presents more than most and to think they might not get anything is heartbreaking."
Donations will also ease the emotional and practical burdens of the parents.
"How are they supposed to tell the young kids that Santa isn't going to be able to find them this year?" she asked. "I could never imagine being in that position."
Smith will be taking the presents down to the Jersey Shore on Saturday morning; in November Smith and others brought thousands of essential items to struggling families in Normandy Beach.
Those looking to donate Christmas presents should head over to Mac Murphy's at 8 Godwin Avenue, Ridgewood.