Sheriff’s officers provide toys to needy children

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ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — To help ensure that all local little boys and girls were not shut out of their holiday dreams, a team of eight Essex County sheriff’s pickup trucks and SUVs departed Veterans Courthouse morning to make their rounds at houses of worship, schools and social service agencies to deliver greetings and gifts as part of the annual Essex County Sheriff’s Holiday Gift Drive.

Sheriff Armando Fontoura noted that the officers and civilian staff from his department made the primary donations to the toy drive along with members of the Essex County municipal staff and the local county community. In total, nearly 2,500 toys and gifts were delivered.

“We are trying to fulfill every child’s need and every child’s dream,” Fontoura said. “Our vehicles are loaded with electronic games, interactive educational electronic tablets, bicycles, skateboards, roller skates, books, all sorts of sports gear, dolls and board games. You name it, we’ve got it.”

Toy drive beneficiaries include, among other places, the Salvation Army, 13th Avenue School, 14th Avenue School, St. John’s Soup Kitchen, La Casa de Don Pedro, New Hope Baptist Church, Zion Hill Baptist Church and Hawkins Street School.

“The work we do at this time of the year is a gift from the uniformed officers of our department to our neighbors,” Fontoura said.

Photos Courtesy of Julian Coltre

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