Dartmouth toy drive will return to spread more Christmas cheer
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Whether they’re on the nice list or not, not every kid has a present waiting for them on Santa’s sleigh. To fill in the gaps, the Dartmouth Police Department will hold its annual toy drive from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 16 at the Dartmouth Target to collect toys and gifts for local children this Christmas season.
Since it began in 2016, the event typically collects enough toys and gifts to fill a full-sized school bus, which as always, will park out front. The bus is usually full by the end of the day, said Det. Kyle Costa.
“It’s amazing how one event can affect an endless amount of people,” Costa said.
While people clear Target’s shelves and load their donations onto the bus, Dartmouth Community Media will livestream a telethon from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside Target to raise even more money, which will brighten the holidays for low-income families.
Some of the money collected will go toward purchasing gift cards for teenagers who aren’t interested in receiving toys intended for younger children. The need to collect gifts for teens was Chasse’s inspiration for starting the telethon in 2022.
“I felt that the pre-teens and the teens were missing out,” Chasse said. “I don’t want them to be left out.”
The telethon, filmed and hosted by the High School media club, will air on Dartmouth local channel 18. Residents can make donations by calling 508-984-1359 or following the QR code on the screen.
The money will go to the Dartmouth Police Athletic League, a community outreach program that helps with everything from food assistance to providing school supplies, helping low-income families year-round.
Costa said his 33-year experience as a police officer has opened his eyes to the less fortunate people in the community.
“To be able to positively impact not only their kids, but also their families, there’s no better way to give back,” Costa said.
Residents are welcome to volunteer at the toy drive and get their picture taken at a Grinch-themed photo booth. Some volunteers, called Santa’s Helpers, can help shop for gifts to load onto the school bus, donated by Tremblay’s Bus Company.
Among these helpers are Costa’s daughters, who show up every year to shop for presents to load onto the bus.
At the drive, police officers and their families will be handing out candy canes and greeting people at the entrance while town hall officials showcase some holiday-themed karaoke.
Last year, sophomore Tabitha Cabral-Elliott sang Winter Wonderland and Jingle Bells at the telethon. On Dec. 6, Cabral-Elliott interviewed Costa and Chasse on her talk show “Tabi 2:04” to highlight the toy drive this year. People who want to grab the mic and sing some holiday tunes at the toy drive should reach out to Chasse before the event at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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