Brooklyn man donates toys to 200 kids at middle school in honor of late father

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Thursday, December 23, 2021
NYPD, local officials surprise Brooklyn students with holiday toys
Dozens of members of the NYPD and Brooklyn native and business owner Salvatore Stile handed out toys at Stephen Decatur Middle School.

BEDFORD STUYVESANT, Brooklyn (WABC) -- NYPD officers, officials, and local residents passed out gifts Wednesday to nearly 200 children who otherwise may not have received a holiday present this year.

New York City Council Member Robert Cornegy, Jr., was joined by dozens of members of the NYPD and Brooklyn native and business owner Salvatore Stile at Stephen Decatur Middle School.

The gym at the school was transformed into a Winter Wonderland. More than $10,000 in toys lined the tables for children to pick out a holiday gift. It was a surprise to the student body.

Stile donated the toys on behalf of his late father, who grew up in poverty and attended the grade school in 1949.

"When I was growing up as a young boy, my father always told me how much he loved this school," Stile said.

He was the only Italian American student at the time.

"Throughout the years he always wanted to come back, see the students and give back," Stile said.

Stile's father died last year and never made it back to tell his inspirational story.

"When he didn't have a nickel to buy an ice cream cone and we didn't have toys for his Christmas tree, how the teachers would always say, 'it's OK Sal, don't worry, it's not where you start, it's where you end up in life.'"

He ended up a successful businessman after he was forced to end his formal education in 9th grade to get a job selling newspapers in the subway to support his family.

Stile is starting a scholarship that bears his father's name and the joyous day of giving will now happen every year.

"I just want them to know that I'm a supporter of them and I'm very proud of them as well," Stile said.

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