HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) — Children on Long Island have traded in toy guns for more family-friendly gifts as part of a Manhattan philanthropist's second annual toy gun exchange program.
More than 100 youths gathered at Brierley Park in Hempstead on Wednesday to participate in the exchange, which Jean Shafiroff established to convince children to stop playing with toy guns that appear real.
A majority of the toy guns that were turned in were brightly colored. They were exchanged for items such as footballs, dolls and board games.
Shafiroff says she chose Hempstead as the location for the program after hearing about a number of high-profile shootings involving children in the area.
The exchanged toys were donated to Shafiroff by the Toys for Tots program, the Hempstead Heights Civic Association and the Hempstead Police Benevolent Association.