Police fill two buses with toys for needy kids

Dec 9, 2017

As the first snowfall of the season fell over the Dartmouth Target, police officers were busy stuffing toys into a school bus parked in front of the store.

It was the Dartmouth Police Department’s third annual Fill-The-Bus Toy Drive, organized to benefit Safe Zones, a New Bedford non-profit which provides gifts to children and families in need. Headed by Jerry Pinto, it’s turned into an annual event for the department.

“When Jerry approached us three years ago we didn’t hesitate in assisting,” said Dartmouth Police Det. Kyle Costa. “Every year it keeps growing.”

This year, volunteers from the police department, Bristol County Probation Department, and even teachers and families pitched in to greet shoppers, spread the word, and load toys into the bus. Tremblay's Bus Company provided school buses and staff to help load it too.

“I want to spread kindness,” said Sammie Murphy, Potter Elementary School teacher Lorrie Murphy's daughter as the two helped collect donations along with Lorrie’s husband Dan.

By 11:30 a.m. - just under three hours after the 9 a.m. start time - one bus was already close to being full. A short while later, a second bus arrived, which by the end of the day was also filled to the brim with toys.