- Associated Press - Thursday, December 22, 2016

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) - Some New York children have traded in toy guns for other gifts as part of a Manhattan philanthropist’s second annual toy gun exchange program.

More than 100 youths gathered Wednesday at Brierley Park in Hempstead on Long Island to participate in the exchange, started by Jean Shafiroff to discourage children from playing with toy guns that appear real.

Most of the toy guns that were turned in were brightly colored; they were exchanged for footballs, dolls, board games and other toys.

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Shafiroff says she chose Hempstead for the program after hearing about a number of shootings involving children in the area.

The toys the children were given in the exchange were donated by Toys for Tots, the Hempstead Heights Civic Association and the Hempstead Police Benevolent Association.

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