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Toms River teen organizes toy drive as a way to gain Boy Scout badge

A Toms River teen worked toward a badge for his Boy Scout troop by finding a way to donate hundreds of presents to foster children this holiday season.

News 12 Staff

Dec 28, 2020, 6:10 PM

Updated 1,269 days ago

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A Toms River teen worked toward a badge for his Boy Scout troop by finding a way to donate hundreds of presents to foster children this holiday season.
Sixteen-year-old Jeremy Lewis loves his adopted little brother Alex.
“I can’t imagine not being his big brother,” Lewis said.
Before becoming a member of the Lewis family, the 4-year-old was part of a local CASA program that matched him with a volunteer who advocated on his behalf while in foster care.
Touched by what his brother had gone through, Lewis decided to organize an online toy drive as a way to earn his Boy Scout Troop badge and donate the toys to foster children in the CASA of Ocean County program.
“I just went to as many people as I could that I know would be nice enough to help me out and I just asked, I just kept asking. Every day I went on and I asked for more and more donations,” Lewis recalled.
The response surpassed all expectations. Lewis collected more than 700 toys - worth nearly $10,000.
CASA of Ocean County’s Executive Director Ariane Yazdan said the holidays can be very stressful for children in foster care and these gifts will go a long way.
“Because of Jeremy and the boy scout troop, we were able to fulfill wishes that we might not have been able to fulfill for the foster children in Ocean County,” Yazdan said.
And Lewis’s parents beamed over his determination and success.
“So incredibly proud. That he was able to help so many children,” said Shannon Lewis, Jeremy’s mother. “Just knowing what Alex has brought to our family and to be able to pass those smiles along is just perfect.”
The last of the gifts, which included Lego sets, dolls, and family games were loaded for delivery on Wednesday just in time for Christmas.


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