Fairfield cops' holiday toy drive a year-long gift for sick kids
Donations by to a Fairfield Police Department toy drive over the holidays will be the gift that keeps giving all year long.
The collection boxes put in three different locations in town -- Police Department headquarters, the Recreation Center and Town Clerk's office -- garnered over 1,000 new toys. Officers brought the toys to Bridgeport Hospital about a week before Christmas and will help stock the hospital's Dr. Tom Kennedy Toy Closet.
"They filled an entire Public Storage bay," police Sgt. Suzanne Lussier said of the donations. "You wouldn't imagine there was any type of recession or problem with the economy with the overwhelming support it received."
The Police Department has been conducting a holiday toy drive for more than 15 years, Lussier said.
The toys collected for the toy closet are given to children treated in the P.T. Barnum Pediatric Center at Bridgeport Hospital, according to Anita P. Janson-Bower of the Bridgeport Hospital Foundation.
Named after the hospital's former chairman of pediatrics, the Kennedy Toy Closet is being renovated to provide "a cheerful, colorful and dedicated room for the toy donations," Janson-Bower said.
At the pediatric center, the toys provide distractions for youngsters during all types of medical procedures, as a reward or motivator for needed therapy, and are also given as gifts for occasions like birthdays and holiday celebrations.
Janson-Bower said the center treats more than 1,000 patients each year.