KINGSTON, R.I. – December 8, 2015 — The University of Rhode Island Police Department has made a habit of helping out a local family every winter by collecting donations to provide them with toys and food for the holidays. Recognizing a rising need, the department is ramping up its efforts this year by hosting a Stuff a Cruiser Holiday Toy Drive.
The police department will send two vehicles to Walmart, 1031 Ten Rod Road in North Kingstown, on Saturday, Dec. 12 and Sunday, Dec. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day. They will collect donations of toys to brighten up the holidays for local children in need. In addition, they will accept donations at the campus police station, 85 Briar Lane on the Kingston Campus through December 15.
They’re asking members of the community to donate new, unwrapped toys – enough to stuff the cruisers – to benefit underprivileged children, as well young patients at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.
The department is also accepting monetary donations, which it will use to purchase $75 gift cards to Stop & Shop, so needy families can enjoy a holiday meal and/or a week’s worth of groceries.
“This is one of the best parts of being a police officer, to be able to do something nice for the people of our community,” said URI Police Officer Paul Hanrahan. “I wish we could adopt our one family and help them out, but that’s not enough anymore. The need is so great, we knew we needed to try to do something bigger.”
The police department has teamed up with Christ the King Church, located on the Kingston Campus, to drum up support and help distribute the toys. The church has mailed out 2,000 notices informing its members of the drive, and it will help the police department distribute the donations to needy families.
“Our hopes are high,” Hanrahan said. “We hope to fill both cruisers and, if we’re lucky enough to do that, we’ll swap them out with another cruiser to keep it going. We want to help as many families as we can.”