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Ayer Police Department collecting toys for Loaves & Fishes’ holidays

PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

AYER — The Ayer Police Department is seeing donations from the public for its annual Holiday Toy Drive.

Members of the community are asked to donate a new unwrapped toy and drop it in one of the drop boxes located in town at North Middlesex Savings Bank, I. C. Federal Credit Union, Ayer Town Hall, Ayer Post Office, Carlin’s Tavern, Ayer Public Library and the Ayer Police Department.

All of the toys collected are forwarded to Loaves and Fishes to be given out during the “Shop For Your Kids Day” program, which residents of Ayer, Devens, Shirley, Groton, Harvard and Littleton can participate in.

“People sign up in advance and on the day of the event, you get a ticket and can take one or two things off of each table that your child would want,” said Sgt. John MacDonald, toy drive coordinator.

The Police Department is seeking toy donations for all age groups. From his years of experience, MacDonald has found that toys for older children such as pre-teen and teens are often overlooked.

“We see a lot of infant and toddler-age toys but sometimes not enough for the older kids so I would encourage people to think about that if they are looking to make a contribution or a donation. Maybe gift cards for small amounts to places that are popular with the young people would be good,” MacDonald said.

Loaves and Fishes has a “Most Wanted Items” list of suggestions posted on its website for all age groups at, www.loavesfishespantry.org<http://www.loavesfishespantry.org>.

The police department is also accepting monetary donations for the toy drive, which are tax-deductible. Checks should be made out to “Ayer Police Toy Drive” and can be mailed or dropped off at the station located at 54 Park St. Tax receipts will be mailed to donors prior to Dec. 31.

This is the police department’s 15th toy drive. Last year, approximately 2,500 toys were collected and distributed to children in need.

“People are surprised when they hear how many kids benefit from our toy drive,” MacDonald said

The deadline for gift donations is Dec. 23.

Anyone needing information can contact the police station or visit www.Devenspantry.org<http://www.devenspantry.org/>.

Those seeking new toys for their children can contact Loaves and Fishes at 978-772-4627 and register for “Shop For Your Kids Day” program.