WALLINGTON, N.J. — United States Army Captain Margarita Urgiles, of Wallington, took a break from loading unwrapped gifts into a military vehicle at the Closter Fire Department to survey her progress as part of an assembly line on Wednesday.
The piles of hundreds of presents large and small collected for the Bergen County PBA Toy Drive were mostly on the trucks at 1 p.m., thanks in part to Urgiles and military members from the Teaneck Armory.
Earlier that day, the task of transferring all of them had seemed daunting, but — for the third year in a row — Urgiles helped to get it done.
"The camaraderie of this event is always great," Urgiles said, donning a low ponytail and camouflage Army uniform. "It's something I look forward to every year."
The drive was launched in 1988 by now-retired Closter Police Sgt. Don Nicoletti, who — along with several members of the PBA's "Santa Response Team" — helps hand-deliver the presents to pediatric patients at the Hackensack University Medical Center.
He also makes sure that military members take some home for their families, Urgiles said. But that's not why she volunteers, she said.
"The fact that we get to help so many different organizations is just great," Urgiles said. "And we all come together for that."
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