Donated gifts set to be distributed to Rensselaer County children

TROY, N.Y. – A local Christmas shop set to open Monday for families in need in southern Rensselaer County.

One grieving mother is carrying on her late son’s name by collecting thousands of toys to distribute to children in need.

Tyler McIntyre was only six years old when he died in a car accident in February 2012. Tyler loved Christmas, and his favorite part was giving gifts.

Now his mother, Tonya McIntyre, is honoring Tyler’s love of generosity with “Toys From Tyler.”

She said she started the campaign to channel her grief into helping others.

Thanks to donations like McIntyre’s, more than 400 families in southern Rensselaer County will able to visit local non-profit Concerns-U and pick out toys for their children.

The Program Coordinator of Concerns-U, Colleen Pidgeon, says the Christmas Shop has been helping families in need bring Christmas to their children for the last 21 years.

Thanks to donations from toy drives and many others, parents can visit the shop at 50 Herrick St. beginning Monday, December 12, at 9 a.m. with proof of South Rensselaer residency, proof of low income, and a birth certificate for each child and begin to shop the selection of brand new toys.

Pidgeon calls the Toys From Tyler drive a gift from god, a way the memory of such a sweet six-year-old boy can continue to touch people’s hearts long after his passing.

“He’s like the real spirit of Christmas, Tyler, his surviving family and friends, and the toys that they provide are just beautiful,” she said.

And it’s not just a toy that’s available; every parent who visits the shop will be able to pick out three toys, two books, two sets of outfits, stocking stuffers, and a hat, gloves and scarves for each child.

More than enough to fill the space under any family’s Christmas tree.

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