Helping children, in Hurricane Sandy???s aftermath

Al???s Angels, a Westport, Conn.-based charitable organization, is launching a major effort to help children, ages newborn to 10, who have been impacted by the effects of Hurricane Sandy, according to Al DiGuido, founder of Al???s Angels and CEO of Optimus Publishing.

The mission of Al’s Angels is to provide holiday meals and gifts to children and families battling cancer, rare blood diseases and severe financial hardship. Having witnessed the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy on thousands of children within the tri-state area, the organization decided to expand its mission to provide toys and gifts to children in the impacted areas during the holiday season.

???At Al???s Angels we have always been focused on helping children in desperate need,??? DiGuido said in a statement. ???The recent hurricane has devastated so many children and families in our area. As we move towards the holiday season, we cannot sit by and watch this level of suffering from so many in our area.

???Our Holiday Drive is an effort to help repair the fragile hearts and spirits of the youngest in our communities. We are focused on returning to them the toys that they have cherished during their lives. We have no greater mission that to ease the suffering of others.???

DiGuido is a resident of Westport, Conn., and that???s where the in-person toy drive will begin Nov. 24-25. The organization will be present at Santa???s Workshop located at 1175 Post Road in Westport (opposite Greens Farms School) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The workshop is accessible via elevator to the second floor at the rear of the building.

For those outside the area, donations to the Toy Drive can be made through the Al???s Angels web site (, by clicking on the ???Donate??? button and following the prompts, For checks and/or shipping unwrapped toys: Al???s Angels, 342 Greens Farms Road, Westport , CT. 06880

Al???s Angels is in the midst of its 2012 Holiday Outreach, where it provides more than 3,000 families in the tri-state area with Thanksgiving, Hanukkah & Christmas meals. Santa and Frosty will visit 12 different venues in the region and distribute nearly 5,000 gifts to children and families battling cancer, rare blood diseases and severe financial hardship.

The Angels continue to work very closely with a network of partners on many of their initiatives, including Tomorrow’s Childrens Fund, St. Barnabas Hospital, Union Community Health Center, CLASP Homes, Mercy Learning Center, Columbia Presbyterian, Saint Christopher Ottille and others.

Al???s Angels was founded by DiGuido in 2004 as a non-profit, charitable organization whose mission is to provide assistance to children and families suffering hardship due to life-threatening illnesses or poverty. Al???s Angels distributes meals and gifts for needy families, and sponsors fundraising events and activities for affiliated churches and social service groups, providing them with fundraising support, and works to encourage greater public giving.