SHREWSBURY, Mass. — The Shrewsbury Daily Voice accepts letters to the editor. Signed letters may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To the Editor,
On Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, the Shrewsbury Police Department Patrolman’s Union Local 426 held a Toys for Tots drive at the police station. The event was titled “Fill the Wagon” and the hope was to fill the department’s patrol wagon with new and unwrapped toys.
What started as a small idea by Officer Ryan Chartrand grew into an event that far exceeded any of our expectations. Before the event even began, we started receiving support from the community in getting the word out about the event. Through the Community Advocate, Shrewsbury Daily Voice, Telegram and Gazette, Shrewsbury.net, the Shrewsbury Patch and the Boston Globe, the event was published to reach a very large audience. With the assistance of Shrewsbury Public Access TV, WSRS and WTAG, the message of the event could be seen and heard in the weeks and days leading up to the event. Without these media outlets, we surely would not have experienced the success we were able to achieve.
The local business community also played a huge part in advertising the event, allowing signs to be posted in their store windows, and also participated in making the day a magical one. Wicked Good Cookies provided special frosted cookies with the Shrewsbury Police patch on them for the children to take home. Flynn’s Truck Stop erected a box in its store which, upon delivery to the wagon, was packed full of toys. The Wagner family donated three BMW, Mercedes and Audi ride-on toys, which will definitely make a child smile this year. Other community organizations contributed large amounts of toys, including Patti Faucher Real Estate, Napoli Deli, and the Shrewsbury Highway and Water Department. The Home Depot finished off the day with the donation of a large teddy bear that had to ride in the front with Santa when delivering the toys due to the lack of space in the rear of the wagon.
Kicking off the event, we immediately had a steady stream of people who contributed anywhere from one toy to trunkloads of toys. With the wagon filled with toys, children had their pictures taken with Santa, sat on the police motorcycle, enjoyed cookies contributed by the families of many of the police officers and welcomed the arriving donations with the sounds of sirens and horn blasts from a police cruiser. By 10 o’clock, we soon realized the event was already a success as the wagon was almost three-quarters filled with toys. As noon approached, our faithful wagon loaders, Brian Capalbo and Kris Swedberg, were having trouble finding any open space as the wagon was entirely full. At 12:30 p.m., the wagon pulled away from the station with Santa and Mrs. Claus, followed by a second police car, which held the overflow toys.
The members of the Shrewsbury Police Patrolman’s Local 426 cannot begin to thank all of the individuals and groups that made this day a success. We were absolutely blown away by the community support and we truly enjoyed meeting various members from our community. Most importantly, it was great to see the children’s faces as they got to climb onboard the police vehicles and sit on Santa’s lap while we were collecting toys for those children who are less fortunate.
From all of us at the Shrewsbury Police Department, we would like to say thank you for making the day a huge success, and we wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.
Vice President, Shrewsbury Police Patrolman’s Local 426