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"SEPTA Clauses" Spread "Yule Toy" Cheer

Heather Redfern
Public Information Manager

SEPTA employees may have decorated a bus to resemble the Grinch this year, but no one was going to steal the holidays from local children. In fact, the "SEPTA Clauses" went above and beyond to spread holiday cheer, donating thousands of toys for deserving children as part of the Authority's 38th Yule Toy Drive.

"Each year, we can't imagine being able to top the previous toy drive, but our employees make it happen," said Carol Looby, SEPTA Board secretary and long-time Yule Toy coordinator. "Thanks to the generosity of our staff, this year we had thousands of toys to deliver to organizations across the Authority's service area."

For just one month - between Thanksgiving and Christmas - employees from all SEPTA districts and Headquarters dropped toys in bright red bins and collected thousands of dollars to purchase items for children of all ages. "We know that sometimes the gifts the children receive from our employees are the only presents the kids will get," said Looby. "Our employees don't want to see any child go without during the holidays."

Sorting and delivering thousands of toys takes an operation almost as big as Santa's North Pole workshop and SEPTA relies on a dedicated team of "elves" to work their holiday magic. "When the barrels full of toys start to roll in from across the Authority, we have employees - many using their own personal time - ready to sort and pack all of the games, dolls and even bicycles," said Looby. "We wouldn't be able to get the gifts to our recipient organizations without them."

Because Santa's sleigh was in the shop for a tune-up prior to his Christmas Eve trip, the SEPTA Clauses stuffed two buses floor to ceiling with their gifts to make their deliveries. Groups receiving gifts as part of Yule Toy 2018 were Bywood Community Association, Upper Darby; Covenant House Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Edward Bacon Recreation Center, Darby; Friends Rehabilitation Program, Inc., Philadelphia; Neighbor to Neighbor, Sharon Hill; Southwest CDC, Philadelphia; St. Veronica and Incarnation Parish, Philadelphia; and Upper Darby Community Outreach Corp., Upper Darby.

"The organizations are so appreciative of what we give them," said Looby. "It's an amazing feeling to end the year on such a wonderful note."

The lobby of SEPTA's Center City Philadelphia headquarters was busting with thousands of toys donated by the Authority's generous employees.

Two buses were packed floor-to-ceiling with toy donations.

Buses were overflowing with gifts - even bikes were put on the bike racks.

The SEPTA elves took a short break before hitting the road to deliver their gifts.