NORTHAMPTON – Edgar “Ned” Judd Jr. and his wife Carol have been donating to the Sidney F. Smith Toy Fund for 40 years. As Ned recalls, he and his wife began the practice in 1981, the year of his mother’s death, and they made a contribution in her honor.
The Judds, who live in Leeds, also donated to the Toy Fund in honor of other family members who have since died. That’s not the only reason, says Ned Judd: he has a grown daughter, Laura, and he remembers how special Christmas was to her as a child.
“It’s a special time of the year, and (the Toy Fund) really helps the people who are struggling so that their children can have something for Christmas,” he said. “It has always been a good cause.
This year and last year, however, the Judds made a contribution to the Toy Fund to honor other family members – people who in turn honored the Judds by placing decorative Christmas wreaths near the gravestones. members of the Judd family.
Named after a former business director of The Gazette, the Toy Fund began in 1933 to help families in need during the Depression. Today, the fund distributes vouchers valued at $ 40 to families for each child aged 1 to 14.
Eligible families must live in any community in Hampshire County except Ware, or in the Southern County towns of Franklin, Deerfield, Sunderland, Whately, Shutesbury and Leverett, or Holyoke in the County from Hampden.
Ned Judd explains that his cousin Mary Lou Joyner and her husband, Ed Joyner, a retired couple who live in Goshen, have for many years been making decorative Christmas wreaths with natural materials found in the woods – pine cones, sticks, greenery – and adding ribbons and other adornments. Ed Joyner makes the wreaths but enlists the help of his wife and other family members to collect materials and then distribute the wreaths.
They’re all free to family and friends, Judd says. He notes that the Joyners have placed their creations for years near the tombstones of Judd’s mother and father in Goshen cemetery, as well as near the tombstones of his uncle and grandparents, which are also found in Goshen cemetery.
“It’s just a really nice gesture,” Judd said.
This year, he noted, Ed and Mary Lou Joyce collected over 40 wreaths and distributed them all: “They are caring people and very generous with their time.
In fact, Judd’s late sister Marion, who passed away in October 2020, had been donating to another Toy Fund for years in honor of the Joyners’ work.
Now, says Ned Judd, he and his wife are in turn honoring the Joyners by donating to the Gazette’s Toy Fund.
Named after a former business director of The Gazette, the Toy Fund began in 1933 to help families in need during the Depression. Today, the fund distributes vouchers valued at $ 40 to families for each child aged 1 to 14. Eligible families must live in any community in Hampshire County except Ware, or in the southern towns of Franklin County, Deerfield, Sunderland, Whately, Shutesbury and Leverett, and Holyoke in the Hampden County.
CSO-The Bridge Family Resource Center at 101 University Drive in Amherst verifies the eligibility of families and the Gazette covers the costs associated with the race, releasing all donations to fund the vouchers.
The following stores are participating this year: A2Z Science and Learning Store, 57 King St., Northampton; Blue Marble / Little Blue, 150 Main St., Level 1, Northampton; High Five Books, 141 N. Main St., Florence; The Toy Box, 201 N. Pleasant St., Amherst; Once Upon a Child, 1458 Riverdale St., West Springfield; Plato’s Closet, 1472 Riverdale St., West Springfield; Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters, 227 Russell St., Hadley; Odyssey Bookstore, 9 College Street, Village Commons, South Hadley; The Eric Carle Picture Book Art Museum, 125 W. Bay Road, Amherst; World Eye Bookstore, 134 Main Street, Greenfield; Holyoke Sporting Goods Co., 1584 Dwight Street No. 1, Holyoke.
Steve Pfarrer can be reached at email@example.com.