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Friday, December 26, 2008

Annual Suffern DARE/ PBA Toy Drive

I know this blog isn’t about photography or outdoor travel, but for me helping my good friend Clarke Osborn and the Suffern PD with their annual toy drive is an adventure and the best part of the holiday season. Next to being outdoors, helping and working with children is one of the most exciting things in my life. This year my wife, Sue, was able to get the company she works for, Liberty Travel, to have all their employees bring a toy to their Holiday Party. Thanks to Sue and Liberty Travel we collected another 25 bags of toys and more than 25 gift cards! Below is a brief history of the Suffern DARE/PBA Toy Drive history.

For the past 18 years the members of the Suffern Police Department have been sponsoring a holiday toy drive for local needy families. This program began as a result of many local families who were having a hard time receiving assistance during trying times. Since our inception we have identified and assisted these families through many avenues including working with local school districts and organizations to ensure that our toys went to truly local, needy families. We continue to assist families throughout Rockland and Bergen counties including the communities of Suffern and Mahwah.

Unlike other toy drives the items that we collect stay within our area. One of the main reasons that this drive started was because of the bureaucracy that our residents would go through to get assistance from larger programs and on many occasions our residents would be turned away and not even receive a return phone call back as they asked for help. Our drive is very unique in the fact that we identify the families and deliver the toys ourselves to ensure that the job gets done. We have a volunteer staff of over 50 officers and community members who truly lend a hand to make a difference throughout our communities.

Clarke Osborn is Chief of Police in Suffern and in my opinion (and many other’s opinions) one to the most caring and compassionate people one will ever meet.
Next week’s blog will be on the trip Sue and I took out West in early December.

Happy Holidays!

1 comment:

Betty V. said...

Hey that little girl in the green sweater is stealing toys!!!

You guys did an amazing job- count me in next year to help wrap/deliver/donate whatever you need count me and my hubby in!