Amato’s seeks to brighten holidays for needy kids

By Brenda Maguire

NEW BRITAIN — This holiday season Amato’s Toy & Hobby isn’t just concerned with selling trains and model planes, but also to donate toys to low-income children with help from customers.

“I figure you can’t blame a child. No matter where they are in their lives, it’s not their fault,” said Steven Amato, owner of Amato’s Toy & Hobby at 283 Main St.

The store is asking for monetary donations starting Wednesday from customers and in turn will provide $2 worth of toys for every $1 donated.

“It gets the customer involved,” Amato said, adding, “They know their donation will be multiplied.”

Amato said the campaign will usually generate about a half of a van full of toys, including stuffed animals, model kits and trains.

“Typically, they get less for older kids and we, of course, have a lot of toys for older kids,” Amato said.

He said the fundraiser is in its seventh or eighth year and has raised anywhere between $1,000 and $8,000 over that time.

The toys will be delivered to the Greater Hartford Area Salvation Army after the campaign ends Dec. 21.

“Every kid deserves a good Christmas,” Amato said.

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