Annual OC Sheriff’s toy drive; 5 OCL branches designated as drop-off points

Ocean County officials are encouraging residents to help those less fortunate this holiday season by participating in the county’s Annual Toy Drive.

“Our Sheriff Michael Mastronardy is carrying on the long time tradition of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department and is again holding and overseeing the county’s annual toy drive,” said Ocean County Freeholder John P. Kelly, Director of Law and Public Safety.

“This is a magical time of year but for many of our citizens it is one of the most difficult. With this toy drive we hope to bring a little holiday happiness into the lives of families that may be going through a difficult time,” Kelly said.

Mastronardy said that last year’s drive helped more than 300 families and provided toys to more than 900 children throughout the county.

“This year, we are working directly with the Ocean County Police Chiefs Association and local police departments in order to make sure families that are in need are served by the program,” Mastronardy said. “New, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at a number of locations.”

To drop off toys, visit the following locations:

Ocean County Clerk’s Office, Ocean County Courthouse, 118 Washington Street, Toms River;

Ocean County One Stop Center, 1027 Hooper Avenue, Bldg. 2, Toms River;

Ocean County Administration Building, 101 Hooper Avenue, Toms River;

Ocean County Southern Service Center, Routes 9 and 72, Manahawkin;

County Connection, Ocean County Mall, JC Penney Wing, Hooper Avenue, Toms River.

Toy bins can also be found at the following Ocean County Library branches:

Brick branch, 301 Chambers Bridge Road, Brick Township;

Lacey branch, 10 East Lacey Road, Forked River;

Manchester branch, 21 Colonial Drive, Manchester Township;

Whiting Reading Center, Whiting Commons Shopping Center, 400 Lacey Road, Suite 5, Whiting;

and the main branch of the Ocean County Library at 101 Washington Street, Toms River.

“This effort is supported by the generosity of the Ocean County government family, from the staff at the courthouse, to the workers in southern Ocean County, the county staff is helping to make a difference this holiday season,” said Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari. “I am asking our citizens do what they can to help.”

Toy distribution will be as follows:

Barnegat Township Police Department for township residents, 3 to 7 p.m., Dec. 18;

Lacey Township Police Department for township residents, 3 to 7 p.m., Dec. 22;

Ocean Gate Police Department for Ocean Gate and Pine Beach residents, 3 to 7 p.m., Dec. 18;

Point Pleasant Borough Police Department for borough, Mantoloking and Bay Head residents, to be announced;

Tuckerton Police Department for Borough and Eagleswood Township residents, 2 to 8 p.m., Dec. 17;

Ship Bottom Police Department for borough and Long Beach Township, Barnegat Light, Surf City and Harvey Cedars residents, to be announced;

Seaside Heights Police Department for Borough and Lavallette residents, 10 to 4 p.m., Dec. 20.

For families living in a town that is not listed, please contact your local police department for your area toy drive representative.

For those residents who live in the listed towns and are in need of some assistance with toys this Christmas, please register with the Sheriff’s Department by filling out the Sheriff’s Toy Drive Application Form. The form may be accessed from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office website home page at http://www.co.ocean.nj.us/OCsheriff. Once the form has been received, a representative will contact you to review the form and the dates for pickups in your area.

We have listed on the form the town’s area distribution site (police department) and dates.

“This toy drive will help make Christmas merry and bright for hundreds of children,” Vicari said. “We encourage everyone who can contribute to do so. It will make a special difference in a child’s life.”

The toy donation deadline is Dec. 20th. For additional information call (732) 929-2044 or Sergeant J. Schevlin at (732) 929-4722.

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