Giving Back

Newton Police Department Lends a Hand at the Season of Hope Toy Shop

December 17, 2013 at 5:12 PM

NEWTON, NJ - Volunteering is important to the members of the Newton Police Department, many of whom step up to assist patrons at the Season of Hope toy shop at Project Self-Sufficiency each December. Officers direct traffic, assist with crowd control and other issues so that participants can have an enjoyable shopping experience. 

The Season of Hope toy shop offers free, new and unwrapped toys to income-eligible families each year.  More than 700 families were assisted last year, with toys going to more than 1,500 children.  The total number of families served in 2013 will be even greater, according to organizers.

Having a police presence at the Season of Hope toy shop lends a calming effect to the whole experience, said Newton Police Chief Michael Richards.  “We are able to provide a feeling of safety because Project Self-Sufficiency has such a large group of people who not only benefit from the toy shop, but who contribute on that day.  It’s so complex and has so many moving parts.  We have one little part and we are glad to be able to do it.”

Sign Up for E-News

The officers volunteer to work in shifts of several hours in length.  “We ask everyone in the department to consider signing up to volunteer,” said Chief Richards.  “It’s a festive atmosphere and we all look forward to it.”

The officers also give back by donating toys or the funds to purchase toys.  The local chapter of the Police Benevolent Association, Sussex County’s largest and oldest law enforcement organization, contributes the funds each year.  The organization includes officers from police departments in Byram, Newton, Stanhope and Hamburg, as well as representatives from the Sheriff’s Office and the Prosecutor’s Office.

“The presence of the officers from the Newton Police Department makes a world of difference at the Season of Hope toy shop each year,” noted Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency.  “We are so grateful to the entire department for their support of the low-income families served by this toy drive, and we deeply appreciate their willingness to volunteer their time to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable experience while they are here.”

Donations to the Season of Hope Toy Drive will be accepted through the end of December.  New and unwrapped gifts for infants, children, pre-teens and teens will be stored and used for the toy shop next December.  To make a donation, or to find out more about the Season of Hope Toy Drive, call Project Self-Sufficiency at 973-940-3500 or visit

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Sparta Police: Wantage Man Faces Drug Charges Following Traffic Stop

December 7, 2016

SPARTA, NJ – A Wantage man is facing drug charges after a traffic stop for an expired registration sticker.  According to Sparta police Shane Dedminicantanio was pulled over on Route 15 after he passed Sparta Cpl. Dan Elig and Police Officer Steve Guido on the Sparta Junction at 11:30 a.m. on December 4.

The officers smelled burnt marijuana while speaking with Dedminicantanio in his ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, December 11, 10:00 AM

Oak Ridge

Covenant Brass Quintet

Sun, December 11, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Lime Crest Quarry: Eons in the Making, Men in the ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Sun, December 11, 3:45 PM

Oak Ridge

Annual Christmas Concert and Tableau

Arts & Entertainment

Sussex County Legislators vote NO to domestic violence bill

December 5, 2016

To the Editor:

Domestic violence claims at least 2,000 lives each year. Seventy percent of the victims are women. More than half of the time, the weapon used to carry out an “intimate partner” homicide — when a person targets a spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, or someone with whom they previously had a romantic relationship — is a gun. To prevent intimate partner ...

St. Mary's Episcopal Church Installs New Rector

December 10, 2016

On Saturday, December 10, at 4p.m., The Reverend Debbie Brewin-Wilson was installed as rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, located at 85 Conestoga Trail, Sparta, NJ.  An installation ceremony was held at 4 p.m., followed by a celebratory reception at the church. The congretation and community was  invited to attend and celebrate a new chapter in the history of ...

Roxbury Eyes Little Lake Hopatcong Peninsula, State Says "Go For It"

December 2, 2016

ROXBURY, N.J. - Roxbury Township is on the verge of getting its first chunk of lakefront property on Lake Hopatcong, a strip of land that once served as a steamboat passenger platform in Landing.

The first thing it wants to put there: A big Christmas tree.

The state, which owns the half-acre peninsula adjacent to Lake's End Marina, is eager to enter into a ...