Beverly teen's annual toy drive set for Saturday

Courtesy photoFor the seventh year, Beverly teen Kennedy Steiner will collect toy donations for Toys for Tots. This year's Kennedy Kares Toy Drive is set for Saturday, Nov. 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Learning Express Toys in North Beverly Plaza.  

BEVERLY — Beverly Rotary Club members say Kennedy Steiner is a community hero.

For the past six years, Steiner, 15, has been running a toy drive organization with the hopes that no child goes through the holidays without receiving a gift. 

"We wanted to support her in her heroic contribution to this undertaking for this cause," said Rotary Club member Neil Douglas.

Earlier this year, the Beverly club recognized the Beverly High School sophomore with the Paul Harris Award, for her "outstanding and sustained love for children in need," Douglas said. 

And on Saturday, the Beverly Rotary Club and Learning Express Toys will co-sponsor the seventh annual Kennedy Kares Toy Drive at Learning Express Toys in North Beverly Plaza.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., shoppers can purchase gifts and toys at the store and donate them to Steiner's drive. 

"It means a lot that people in the community want to help," said Steiner.

 

Steiner's mom, Heather, said the additional partners "makes us even more proud that people are recognizing the work that she is doing and that they want to be a part of the work that she is doing."

Officially called Kennedy Kares, the seasonal toy drive has collected and donated more than 30,000 toys for Toys for Tots, Beverly Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital over the past six years. 

"I never would have expected for it to get this big," Steiner said. "I love every year seeing people come together."

Greg Sahagian, owner of Learning Express Toys in Beverly, said this is the first time the store is hosting the Kennedy Kares drive. 

"It shows great initiative by Kennedy and understanding at a young age that not all kids are as fortunate," Sahagian said. 

The Beverly toy store has previously collaborated with Beverly Bootstraps and the Wellspring in Gloucester, among other organizations. 

"I think it is important for a small town, like Beverly, to try and reach back to the community as much as possible," said Sahagian. "Just to be aware that there are always people that are less fortunate than yourself. It is important in small towns to come together."

Staff writer Taylor Ann Bradford can be reached at 978-338-2527 or tbradford@northofboston.com.

If you go

What: Seventh annual Kennedy Kares Toy Drive

When: Saturday, Nov. 16, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Learning Express Toys, 55 Dodge St., Beverly, in the North Beverly Plaza

Info: All donated toys will go to Toys for Tots. Co-sponsored by Beverly Rotary Club and Learning Express Toys.

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