HAMILTON, NJ -- The Hamilton Township Police Department kicked off their annual Toys for Tots drive on Thursday. The program provides new toys for children between the aged of 4 and 17 who may not be able to otherwise have something special to unwrap on Christmas morning. 

Saying that the drive is always a highlight of his year, Hamilton Police Chief James Stevens added that the toys collected “truly make a difference in the lives of so many, from the joy they bring not only to the children who receive them, but also to their parents and loved ones. 

"And for that, I am thankful to the United States Marines and the residents of Hamilton Township who help to make it all possible.” he continued.

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The Toys for Tots program began in 1947 under the leadership a US Marine Corp Forces Reserve, Major Bill Hendricks. In 1948, the USMC adopted the program as their own. Last year, the Marine Toys for Tots Program was able to both collect and distribute 19 million toys to 73 million children in over 800 communities in the United States including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

“It is my pleasure to officially open the 2020 Toys for Tots Drive alongside our exceptional Hamilton Township Police Division Officers,” said Hamilton Township Mayor Jeff Martin.  “This year is unlike any before and I know the need for toys for the youth of our Township will be greater than ever before.  I urge anyone who is able to donate to consider doing so this year.”

Toys for children between the ages of 4 and 17 are being collected for the 2020 Toys for Tots Drive until December 18 at two locations: the Hamilton Township Police Headquarters located at 1270 Whitehorse Mercerville Road and at Foley’s Family Market located at 1080 White Horse Avenue.  Unwrapped toys can be brought to one of these locations for further distribution. 

This year, the local Marine Corps has put into place extra COVID-19 safety measures, including sanitizing and quarantining of all toys. 

Anyone with question regarding the Toys for Tots collection should contact Hamilton Township Police Officer Bob O’Hare at (609) 581-4021.

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