EDISON — More than 1,000 toys were collected by the Edison Police Department for the Toys for Tots program to bring joy this holiday season to children in the area.
The department has been participating in the program for several years; however, with the help of the foul one himself “The Grinch,” the department got a boost in toy collections from the infamous Dr. Seuss character.
“If it weren’t for the Grinch, I don’t think it would have been as successful as it has been,” Police Chief Thomas Bryan said.
The Grinch is a fictional character created by Dr. Seuss. He is best known as the main character of the children’s book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
Bryan thanked Officers Nicole Errico, Keith Jackson and Chris Gadomski for participating in the parody video that turned the officers into social media celebrities.
“They did an excellent job on the whole Grinch initiative this holiday season,” Bryan said.
The video showed the Grinch attempting to steal Christmas from a township home, the Grinch’s arrest by Officers Jackson and Gadomski and his municipal court appearance.
From Nov. 29 to Dec. 7, the Grinch’s portable jail cell was hauled throughout Edison on a fire truck making stops in various neighborhoods so he could greet and be photographed with children of all ages. New, unwrapped toys were collected along the way.
Nick D’Andrea, Toys for Tots coordinator for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, thanked the Edison Police Department for their outstanding support for the last couple of years.
“They have done a tremendous job in support for Toys for Tots … without them we couldn’t have succeeded this campaign,” he said. “The support has been tremendously appreciated.”
D’Andrea said toys collected will go to surrounding communities starting with Edison and cover four counties — Union, Somerset, Middlesex and Hunterdon.
“A lot goes into this administratively and logistically as we distribute the toys, but without the assistance from the Edison police, children would not have what they are going to have this Christmas,” he said.
D’Andrea said last year, the Toys for Tots program was able to provide the joy of Christmas to 40,000 children in their designated area.
“We hope to beat that record with the Edison Police Department,” he said.
The department received a certificate of appreciation from the United States Marine Corp Reserve Toys for Tots program after they delivered the collected toys to the program on Dec. 14.
The mission of the program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.