Saturday will be a busy day for two Toms River organizations assisting residents with Hurricane Sandy relief for the holidays.
St. Barbara’s Greek Orthodox Church, 2200 Church Rd., will host a free Secret Santa Toy Shop from 12 to 3 p.m.
Elks Lodge #1875, at 600 Washington St. at the corner with Clifton Avenue will host a free Christmas Dinner and holiday gift giveaway starting at 3 p.m.
St. Barbara’s is offering free shopping for families affected by Hurricane Sandy, starting at 12 noon. Volunteers in the church hall will assist guests in finding Christmas gifts and necessities like new toys, clothing, pantry items and household goods.
Free gift wrapping will be available, according to Helen McGovern, coordinator for the Toms River Municipal Alliance.
The Secret Santa Toy Shop is open to adults only. Interested guests must register and leave a message by calling Donna Pappas at (732) 814-2724.
There will be no game systems or iPods available, but church volunteers are trying to fulfill the wish lists of those who call to register. They are networking with a number of other agencies, including Hometown Heroes of Downtown Toms River, in order to fulfill gift requests.
The free Christmas dinner and a holiday gift giveaway at Toms River Elks Lodge #1875 will start at 3 p.m. The second dinner seating will be at 4:30 p.m.
This event is open to all, including families with children, singles and seniors. Displaced persons, volunteers from anywhere assisting with recovery efforts, police, first responders, firefighters, and all community members are welcome.
A group of volunteers from Nanticoke, Pa. will be bringing the donated food, preparing, and serving roast beef, ham, fresh Pennsylvania sausage, and more. They will be prepared to feed a crowd of up to 600.
Santa Claus will distribute wrapped gifts for the children.
Hometown Heroes has provided much of the donated toys and goods the lodge has been collecting for this dinner and other relief distribution efforts. Guests must register by calling Eileen at (732) 349-9660 x 203 and leaving a message.