The Burlington County Sheriff’s Department is collecting toys for children in need again this holiday season and is aiming to make this year’s toy drive its biggest yet.
The Sheriff’s Department 26th Annual Toy Drive kicked off Thursday with the distribution of donation boxes at 57 locations across Burlington County and collections will occur regularly between now and December 17.
Thousands of toys and gifts were collected during last year’s drive and distributed by local nonprofits and service agencies, including more than $26,000 worth of toys and goods donated by Amazon’s ACY2 Fulfillment Center in Burlington City.
Last year’s drive was so successful that the Sheriff’s Department Community Services Unit has continued to accept and distribute donations of food, toiletries, water, toys, paper supplies and other household goods year-round.
“What began as a seasonal toy drive has become a year-round operation by our officers and staff,” said Sheriff Anthony Basantis. “I’m incredibly proud of all the good we’ve done throughout the year, but we still want to make sure the holidays are special for as many children and families as possible, so we’re once again asking for community support.”
Donation sites include multiple Burlington County government offices, libraries, schools, municipal buildings, courthouses, community centers and businesses. A complete list with addresses is available on the Sheriff’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/100066357081089/posts/219902923564942/?d=n and on the Sheriff’s Department free mobile phone and tablet app, which can be downloaded at https://apps.myocv.com/share/a53408060 .
Businesses or offices interested in hosting a donation box can contact the Sheriff’s Community Services Unit at 609-265-3788 or by emailing email@example.com.
Donated toys and gifts will be distributed to local children by community partners and providers. Last year, those included the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency, Oaks Integrated Care in Mount Holly, the Christian Caring Center in Pemberton Township, Providence House Domestic Violence Services, Sisterhood in Burlington City, Servicios Latinos de Burlington County, Foster and Adoptive Family Services of Princeton and House of God in Delran.
Organizations interested in partnering with the Sheriff’s Department to distribute toys should contact the Community Services Unit before November 30.
“As members of law enforcement, we take a lot of pride in serving Burlington County’s communities and this toy drive is a special part of that service,” Basantis said. “It’s a longstanding tradition that has brightened the holidays for thousands of children for the last 25 years. With the generosity of our residents and community partners, we know No. 26 will become our most successful effort yet and help deliver a joyous holiday to every child and family.”
Burlington County Sheriff Anthony Basantis and Undersheriff James Kostoplis place toys in the donation box outside the Burlington County Commissioners Office as part of the kickoff of the Sheriff’s Department 26th Annual Toy Drive.