Saugerties scouts spread Christmas joy, toys

Young Lorelei Budik and her mom, Alyssa, pick out a ducky for Christmas as part of the Cub Scout toy giveaway. (photo by Robert Ford)

Some local families and their children that might not get a visit from Santa Claus because of their financial circumstances. With assistance from Cub Scout Pack 37, however, many are able to pick up some “gently used” toys to put under their Christmas tree.

Members of the scout pack out of Grant D. Morse Elementary School on Blue Mountain collected toys and clothing last year and held an open house at the Saugerties Public Library.


The library opens its doors each year to the scouts “because it’s what we do,” said Stephanie McElrath, children’s program librarian.

Den leader Shelly Kelly, who organized the program, said her young scouts have really taken to the event. “We’ve been collecting toys for the last two weeks to get ready for this,” Kelly said.

Community volunteer Ann E. Peters, who helps the scouts, said the event “is so that kids who might not ordinarily get very many presents and in some cases no presents can wake up Christmas morning and find toys under the tree.”

It’s a good way to reuse and recycle toys that children no longer play with to help out other kids, Peters added.

Last year, the turnout was small, Kelly said. This December 14, however, the open room at the library was full of parents, and in some cases their kids, picking out toys for Santa and his helpers to leave on Christmas Day.

“We like doing this and it makes us feel good,” said scout Demetri Semel Wells. “This is something we all enjoy doing.”

Mom Alyssa Budik, who was there to pick up some toys for her eight-month-old daughter Lorelei though the event was pretty cool. “This is just so amazing,” Budik said.