Boardman woman, mom take Giving Tuesday to heart

Toy donation

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – It is Giving Tuesday, where people are encouraged to donate to charity.

A Boardman woman and her mother may be at the top of the list even though they did not even know about the special event when they donated in a major way to a Youngstown organization on Tuesday.

There were boxes stacked, all filled with presents.

“It took us about two months to wrap them all,” Colleen Cefalu said.

Each gift was labeled by age and marked either for a boy or girl that receives care from Compass Family and Community Services in Youngstown. The agency got a call in advance about the donation, but did not expect what they got Tuesday morning.

“When they started to unload her van, we couldn’t believe it. We had two dollies and carts that they were bringing all of these boxes in and it is overwhelming,” Joe Caruso of Compass Family and Community Services said.

Cefalu and her mother, Mary Colleen Cefalu, said they always do something special for others at Christmas time.

“There are so many kids around here that need something,” Mary Colleen said.

The women collected the gifts over the past three years. The stash is about $4,000 worth of presents.

“Every time we went out and bought stuff, we just kept putting it away and kept putting it away,” Mary Colleen said.

So why did they decide to donate the presents now?

“I don’t know. I just thought it was time. I was running out of space in my basement,” Colleen said.

They bought beauty products, costume jewelry, games, cars and dolls. Compass staff will pass out the gifts from now through the holidays.

For Colleen and her mom, giving back is a great feeling.

“It gives you a sense of happiness. It is like a little kid knows that he is going to go without a gift and it was done out of love,” she said.

“This is truly a Christmas blessing. I mean, it truly is,” Caruso said. “It is incredibly unexpected and this goes to show the awesome community that we have.”

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