Gloucester Township Police Department hosting its first “Stuff a Truck” event

The police department is asking residents to donate new, unwrapped toys they will “stuff” in its SUV and be distributed to local children in need for the holidays.

The Gloucester Township Police Department is hosting its first “Stuff a Truck” event, collecting toys for children in need in the community.

Through Dec. 23, the police department is asking residents from Gloucester Township and the surrounding communities to donate new, unwrapped toys. This event is coinciding with the Toys for Tots program running at the mayor’s office. The police department will place the donated toys in an SUV belonging to the department and donate them to the mayor’s office. They will then be distributed to children in Gloucester Township.

Toys for Tots was started by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and distributes new, unwrapped toys collected to less fortunate children. Its goal is to “deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to those children and assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.”

“Toys for Tots is a program that’s expanding each and every year with greater participation from our residents that shows great sense of their willingness to give to others that may not have as much as they have,” Mayor Dave Mayer said. “Now with the police department participating in this program, it’s only going to enhance the number of families we are able to touch this year.”

“Stuff a Truck” is organized by the department’s community relations unit. Community Relations Officer Jennifer McLaughlin said getting the community involved is very important to helping those less fortunate.

“This is just another way of us connecting with our community to help those in need,” she said. “This is all for local children in need in Gloucester Township.”

McLaughlin said the community has made quite a few contributions thus far and hopes it will continue the remainder of the month.

“We’ve gotten a wonderful response from our residents so far, along with many officers making donations on their own,” she said. “We are hoping to fill more than one SUV.”

In addition to asking the community to donate toys, the police department is asking residents to donate food as well. It held a food drive for Thanksgiving that was so successful it is continuing through the Christmas season.

“Because we received such a huge response from our community, we wanted to build on it and carry it on to the holiday season,” McLaughlin said.