Niagara Gazette

December 25, 2012

The donation of a lifetime in Lockport

By Anne Calos
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — A woman with a huge collection of porcelain dolls and other collectible toys wants to make a difference in the lives of the children traumatized by the recent school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

The woman, who wants to remain anonymous, took the items to Cornerstone Community Federal Credit Union on Stevens Street to see if they could get them to the children.

Roxanne Sansone, a member service representative at Cornerstone, was shocked when the woman brought in bag after bag of collectible toys.

“She said that she came from a large family of more than a dozen children, but only two were girls. After she grew up and married, she found out that she couldn’t have children of her own, so her family started giving her dolls.

“She said she thought that the dolls might bring some comfort to the children in Connecticut,” Sansone said.

In addition to the dolls, most with tags still on them, the collection includes dozens of small angel ornaments, teddy bears, Beanie Babies and more. The woman also went out and bought some toys that boys might like.

“It just touched my heart when she came in. She said that she thought it might comfort the children to be able to choose a doll that looked like their friend,” Sansone said.

Branch manager Sophia Eddy said she couldn’t believe the sheer number of toys and dolls the woman donated.

“I was off the day she came in, and the next day when I opened the vault, I couldn’t believe my eyes,” Eddy said.

The sheer volume of the gift also posed a problem, however. Just how would they get the toys to the children?

Sansone ran into someone she knew from a shipping company, told him the woman’s story, and after a few phone calls, the company agreed to ship the toys — free of charge — in time for Christmas.

“Everything just came together. It’s wonderful,” Sansone said.