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AYER — The Police Department is conducting its seventh annual Ayer Police Holiday Toy Drive. Last year, the department collected over 1,100 new, unwrapped toys to benefit the community’s needy children.

The Ayer Police Patrol Officers Association and the Ayer Police Superior Officers Union started the collection with a donation of approximately 150 new toys.

Members of the community are asked to remember those less fortunate and donate a new, unwrapped toy to make a difference in a local youth’s holiday season. Donated toys can be dropped off at North Middlesex Savings Bank, Sovereign Bank, Archer’s Mobil station, Hannaford, Town Hall, Ayer Public Library and the Ayer Police Department. Families with students in the Ayer public schools can send their children to school with the new toy and make a donation at the offices of Ayer Middle-High School and Page Hilltop.

Toys requested include early year/infant toys, Barbie/baby dolls, boys’ action figures, construction toys such as Legos, Playmobil and K’nex, and board games. For older children, personal CD players, hand-held video games and gift cards for stores such as Newbury Comics, Old Navy, Circuit City and Toys ‘R’ Us.

All toys collected will be forwarded to Loaves & Fishes and distributed to families in Ayer, Devens, Shirley, Groton, Harvard and Littleton. Toys are needed for an estimated 525 children.

The deadline is Dec. 22.

For further information, contact Sgt. John MacDonald at 978-772-8200 ext. 570 or visit www.Devenspantry.org.