Toy drive collects holiday gifts for Merced children
The “Merced City Fire and Cops For Kids” program is asking for support from local businesses and citizens to provide Christmas gifts to Merced city children. The toy drive has provided toys and gifts for needy families for the past 38 years, according to a Merced Police Department news release.
This year, the program hopes to provide Christmas gifts to 1,400 local children from infants to 12 years old. The program depends entirely on support from local individuals and businesses, officers said in the statement.
One way to help is by donating new unwrapped toys. Individuals can also help by donating money, agreeing to be a toy-collection and drop-off location, or by sponsoring a child or family.
This year, the program has selected 350 families to receive toys. The toys are age appropriate and handpicked by volunteers and public safety personnel, according to the news release.
The toy giveaway will take place at the Merced Police Department South Station on Saturday, Dec. 22.
Monetary donations can be made by making checks payable to The Merced Police Departments Recreation Fund, Tax ID 94-6000371. Officials said 100 percent of donations go toward the purchase of toys for the toy drive. Gift cards and cash are also accepted.
To contact the program, call Lola Barnett, volunteer in police services at 209-384-4185, Fire Captain Ryan Wells at 209385-4776 or Eugene Drummond, police community liaison at 209385-6297.
A pile of toys donated by the community under a Christmas tree at the Merced Golf and Country Club for the annual Fireman Cops for Kids toy drive on Dec. 1, 2016.