Three pupils at Quaker Ridge Elementary in Scarsdale delivered 20 bags of clothing on Feb. 11 to the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in the Bronx, the culmination of a clothing drive dubbed “Kids for Vets.” Jennifer Hefner, teacher in charge at Quaker Ridge, said the boys approached her to ask permission to collect men’s coats, shoes, boots and gloves in the schools’ lobby, noting that the idea came from the children themselves.
Theresa Maldonado said her sons, Cyrus and Darius Toosi, were inspired by stories told in her family of physicians about working with veterans. “We talked to them about helping veterans in need and how they maybe don’t have clothes to do an interview,” said Maldonado, a pediatrician. Cyrus’ friend, a fellow third-grader named Tal Blaustein, joined the brothers in their effort. “They came up with the name Kids for Vets. They really got into it. They decorated boxes and went around town asking vendors if they could put up their boxes and signs,” Maldonado said. “They did a great job. They persevered.”
From left: Darius Toosi, Cyrus Toosi and Tal Blaustein, pupils at Quaker Ridge Elementary in Scarsdale, collected and donated 20 bags of clothing and shoes for veterans in the Bronx. Contributed photo.