By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – The sky may have been cloudy with a threat of rain but the community came out in force to support the Shrewsbury Police Department Patrol Officers Union NEPBA Local 191 sixth annual Toy Drive Dec. 12 – with a special appearance from Santa Claus.
This year’s event will support Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services (SYFS) and toys will go to local families in need. Additionally, household goods such as cleaning supplies, toiletries and paper goods were also collected and were delivered to St. Anne’s Human Services in Shrewsbury.
Because of the pandemic, this year was a drive-through drop off. Everyone wore masks and the atmosphere was festive and joyful.
Sergeant David Faucher shared that the response from the community has been amazing. He estimated that roughly 150 cars came through in just the first couple of hours, filling three vehicles including a cruiser, wagon and truck with toys and three more vehicles with household supplies.
“We have cookies donated from Wicked Good Cookies so all the kids [in the drive through] get cookies and we have Santa here who waves and we get a lot of support from the community,” he commented.
“It gets bigger every year,” Shrewsbury Police Chief Kevin Anderson added. “When we first started, we’d only fill a wagon once – maybe even just a half but now it’s just a great turn out and it’s a great event for the community.”
Perhaps even more so this year because, as Anderson said, “It’s been a tough year for everybody.”
“We are so thankful to our amazingly generous community for the donations to support local families in need and Department of Children and Families involved children during this holiday season,” SYFS shared on their Facebook page. “In a year where we feared we wouldn’t have enough; we are simply overwhelmed by the generosity of our community.”