UNION, NJ – Union police officers, firefighters, PTA members and resident volunteers gathered together on Saturday in Union High School’s gym to unload, sort through and wrap the thousands of toy donations from the Santa in Blue toy drive.

Established in 1995, the Santa in Blue program is in its 22nd year.  “We collected just over 3,000 toys this year,” said Union police officer and event organizer Mike Loguidice.  Loguidice said a list of those in need is provided from the Board of Education and other sources in town and “we wrap and deliver those toys to those families.”

Loguidice thanked the Township Committee and Board of Education and businesses such as Maxon GMC, Maxon Hyundai,  Bed, Bath and Beyond, Planet Honda, Ray Catina of Union and other Union-based businesses as well as out of town businesses who provided donations for the toy drive.

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“It feels great being here, helping out the community,” said Union Police Explorer Francisco Estrada.  “It’s a Saturday.  We could be home sleeping, but we took the time to come here and help out the officers and fireman so we can give back to some families in need.”

Loguidice said toys will continue to be collected through Saturday.  Toys collected will be donated to Puerto Rican hurricane relief.  Toy donations can be dropped off at the Union Police headquarters or town hall.  

"We all feel the most important thing is for children to smile during the holidays," said Loguidice.