Credit: Toys for Tots

For more than 30 years, Toys for Tots has been collecting gifts for children in need. This year, the Needham Police decided to participate in the toy drive for the first time. 

Officers Joe Brienze and Danny Conner are running the effort around town and at the station. “We were able to obtain 10-plus donation boxes, and we empty them constantly,” said Brienze. The boxes have been spread around Needham at Sunita Williams Elementary School, Mitchell Elementary School, Eliot Elementary School, Pollard Middle School, and St. Joseph School as well as at the police station. 

Toys for Tots was started by the Marines in 1991 to collect toys for less fortunate kids around the holidays. “The primary goal is to take in as many donations as possible to deliver to the Marines in Boston,” said Brienze. “We knew the town has been great with fundraisers before and we wanted to be able to use the power of social media to get the word out.” 

Gifts can be dropped off at any of the bin locations until Dec. 11,  or, people can Venmo @NPWDFoundation or write a check to the Needham Police Working Dogs Foundation if they prefer. Officers can then shop for the toys. 

Once the collection period ends, the toys will be loaded onto a bus, and officers will meet up in Boston with officers from other area communities. “We will be giving the toys an escort through the city of Boston to drop them off at the Marine headquarters,” said Brienze. “It is a big event they do every year.”

Lizzie Idelson is a sophomore at Needham High School.

Needham Police will accept as many donations as possible until December 11th. 

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