Following the success of No Shave November in raising funds for cancer research and prevention, the Newton Police Department, with the support of Chief Mike Richards, has kicked off Double Down December in support of the Season of Hope Toy Drive. Officers will forgo regular facial shaving requirements for the month. Funds raised will be donated to Project Self-Sufficiency and used to purchase toys for children and teens in need.
“After attending the Toy Drive kickoff at Project Self-Sufficiency in October, it was apparent to me that financial contributions would be helpful to ensure that there will be a sufficient number of toys available for families,” commented Richards. “I suggested that we could do another month of no shaving, which has been referred to as ‘Double Down December’, and the officers readily agreed to support the Season of Hope Toy Drive with this month’s donations. Each officer is required to donate $30 to participate, and of course, can contribute more if they’d like. Our goal is to raise at least $500. We hope that by contributing to this worthy cause, it will also help to raise awareness of the need that exists and inspire others to also contribute.”
The annual Season of Hope Toy Drive has served thousands of children in northwestern New Jersey for many years. The initiative solicits donations from individuals, businesses, civic organizations, schools, youth groups, athletic teams and other groups throughout November and early December; thousands of new and unwrapped items are distributed to Sussex and Northern Morris and Warren County families in mid-December.
“We are grateful for the support we receive from the Newton Police Department all year long, but this initiative is truly overwhelming,” commented Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency. “This creative approach to raising funds for families in need demonstrates that our local law enforcement officers genuinely care about the families they serve.”
The Season of Hope Toy Drive is a joint effort which is driven and coordinated by Project Self-Sufficiency, along with its partners First Hope Bank, Gravity DesignWorks, iHeartMedia, Inc., Intercar Mercedes Benz, The New Jersey Herald, Off Shore Marine, Pass it Along, The Printing Center, Selective Insurance Company of America, Service Electric Broadband Cable, Shop Rite, Stocker Bus Company, the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce, Sussex County Community College, Sussex Honda, Sussex Macaroni Kid, and the United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots to benefit local families in need.
A wish list has been assembled for those who want to contribute to the Season of Hope Toy Drive. Items needed for teens include electronics, such as calculators, watches, portable music devices, computer games and software, popular CD’s; make-up, perfume, scented lotions, hair dryers, hair straighteners, curling irons; jewelry and accessories; sports equipment and team gear, such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats; popular books; clothing and pajamas; musical instruments and backpacks.
Items sought for younger children include books; Legos, blocks and building toys; action figures; DVD’s and CD’s; electronic learning games; infant toys; multicultural dolls and toys; Play Doh; trading and collectible cards; matchbox cars; and trendy toys.
In addition, donation of gift cards, wrapping paper, gift bags, gift boxes and stocking stuffers are always appreciated.
Gift items can be dropped off at Project Self-Sufficiency, 127 Mill Street in Newton, Monday – Thursday, from 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Donations are requested by Wednesday, December 16th to allow ample time for the items to be distributed to needy families.
For information about the Season of Hope Holiday Toy Drive, call Project Self-Sufficiency at 973-940-3500 or 844-807-3500 or visit www.projectselfsufficiency.org.