AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – A police cruiser full of donations means a full heart for many around western Massachusetts.
“The people in this area are just so giving,” UMass Amherst Community Outreach Officer, Mark Whelihan told 22News.
Police officers from the UMass Amherst Police Department, Amherst Police Department and Hadley Police Department gathered at the Walmart in Hadley to collect donations for those in need.
One man that donated at the event emphasized the importance of giving, if you’re able to.
“There are people who are not able to buy toys and if you are one of those people who have the ability to do so, you should. One toy can go a long way for kids,” said Jason Venditti of Hadley.
At the “Stuff-A-Cruiser” event, police asked for new clothing, non-perishable goods, toiletries and new toys.
Toy donations will go to the 22News Toys for Tots campaign. More than 70,000 families in Massachusetts are in need of toys for the holidays.
“All kids deserve a nice Christmas. I worked really hard when I was single after I got divorced and I made sure my kids had a great Christmas and I think every kid should have a great Christmas,” said Penny Bernier of Montague.
Other donations from the event will go to local charity organizations in Hampshire County. Including homeless the shelter, Jessie’s House, and resource centers, The Bridge and the Survival Center.
“It feels good to us and I think it feels good to the community. I think it gives them a different perspective,” Officer Whelihan told 22News. “Typically when people see the police it’s in a negative light, something bad’s going on in their life. When they see us doing this I think it builds a nice community.”
Just after one hour of the event, officers realized they were going to fill the cruisers. They still had another seven hours to go.