The Burlington County Sheriff’s Department’s annual holiday toy drive is back. Over the last 21 years, the Sheriff’s Department has been able to impact the community by helping gather toys for underprivileged children throughout the county.
Through the help of the many residents that donate and the County Consumer Protection Department, which checks and ensures the safety of all the toys, the Sheriff’s Department has been able to create many memorable holidays
“Every year, the community support is unbelievable,” said Undersheriff Michael Ditzel. “With so many organizations that do their own toy drives, it’s amazing how much people still give. We have a room that we fill up with tables full of toys for kids of all ages, boys and girls.”
“We give to so many different agencies and we also have individual families that come to us,” Ditzel continued. “From the 20 to 25 nonprofits that we give to and the 10 to 15 families that are approved, I couldn’t put a number on the amount of toys that we give. It’s close to 1,000.”
According to Ditzel, the toy drive receives donations for infants to 15-years old. While it doesn’t ask for specific items, the Sheriff’s Department tries to steer clear of toy guns or shooting type toys. While the older ages are typically harder to buy gifts for, make-up, jewelry and small electronics are typically good gifts for females. Sports related items and small electronics work well for male teens.
“We are always looking for gifts for the older ages such as 12 to 15,” said Ditzel. “We have received gift card donations in that past, which we have used to buy gifts for the ages we are lacking.”
Once the Burlington County Sheriff’s Department collects the toy boxes on Dec. 16, they will then donate these toys to several charities. For this year, some of the charities include Christian Caring Center, Delaware House Health Services, Division of Youth and Family Services, Twin Oaks, Foster and Adoptive Family Services, Providence House Shelter, Servicios Latinos and Sisterhood.
Some of the 2019 toy drive drop-off locations in the Sun Newspapers coverage area include: Delran, Shamong, Tabernacle and Burlington Township municipal buildings; Moorestown Boscov’s; Burlington County Library; Burlington Township fire and police departments; Cinnaminson Library; Cinnaminson Police Department; County Corner in Moorestown; Dodge City and Hyundai City in Burlington; Mt. Laurel Senior Center, Mt. Laurel Police Department; Mt. Laurel M.U.A.; PHH Mortgage in Mt. Laurel; Prospector’s Bar and Grill in Mt. Laurel; Rowan College at Burlington County; Red Balloon located in Delran; and Tabernacle Elementary School.
For a full list of donation sites, please visit www.co.burlington.nj.us. For those looking for more information or would like to donate, contact the Burlington County Sheriff Department’s Community Services Unit at (609) 265-3788.