URI Police busy collecting food, toys this holiday season

Rhode Warriors obstacle event at URI Nov. 19 to benefit local food pantries

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URI Police Maj. Michael Jagoda, left, and Patrolman Paul Hanrahan, pose with donations of canned goods bound for area food pantries. URI photo by Olivia Ross

KINGSTON, R.I.- November 18, 2016- With the holiday season underway, officers at the University of Rhode Island Police Department are conducting their annual toy and food drives to assist the needy in local communities.

The department’s Stuff-A-Cruiser toy drive begins on Dec. 2 and runs through Dec. 18, during which community members may drop off monetary donations and new toys to the department at 85 Briar Lane, Kingston, R.I.

In addition, Stuff-A-Cruiser events will also be held Saturday, Dec. 17, and Sunday, Dec. 18 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Walmart, 1031 Ten Rod Road, North Kingstown.

Patrolman Paul Hanrahan said the department is seeking community volunteers to help police collect toys on each day. Last year, URI Police collected more than 3,000 toys donated by members of the local community. Along with cash donations, the toys were distributed to more than eight community service agencies in the area to help those in need during the holiday season. Some toys were also given to children at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

“We hope to make this year’s drive even more successful than last year,” Hanrahan said. “We were deeply touched last year when the police station was filled from floor to ceiling with toys for our local children. We are fortunate to live in an area with so many generous people.”

In addition to collecting toys, URI Police have put together a Rhode Warriors kids obstacle course, open to children ages 6 to 13, Saturday, Nov. 19 from noon to 4 p.m. on Recreational Field 1, near the Mackal Field House on the Kingston campus. Officers invite the URI community to donate a canned good and watch children from our local community tackle the course and aid in being Rhode Warriors against hunger.

Patrolman Hanrahan has already collected more than 1,500 canned goods. Many of the donations were a result of the efforts made by his wife, Colleen Hanrahan, a teacher at George R. Hanaford Elementary School in East Greenwich, and her students.  The canned goods, along with donations collected this weekend, will be given to the Rhody Outpost  Food Pantry, at  St. Augustine’s Chapel, 35 Lower College Road, on the Kingston campus,  and other local food banks.

“Our goal is to feed as many people as possible,” Police Maj. Michael Jagoda said. “Without the help of volunteers and all those who donate, these efforts would not be possible. We are noticing that the need in our community is growing, and we want to do what we can to help.”

To volunteer or to make a donation, please contact Patrolman Hanrahan at 401-874-4910

Olivia Ross, an intern in the Marketing and Communications Department at URI and public relations major, wrote this press release.