FAIRVIEW, N.J. -- Fairview police have jumped into the annual Bergen County PBA Toy Drive to help ill and needy children during one of the Northeast's largest missions of mercy.
"We'd never been involved before, so we're really excited," Sgt. John Pierotti told Daily Voice. "The response so far has been incredible."
The entry of Fairview police and their colleagues from several other eastern Bergen County towns has boosted this year's number of participants to an all-time record of 47 law enforcement agencies, said retired Closter Police Sgt. Donald Nicoletti.
"Their enthusiasm is beautiful," Nicoletti, who helped found the drive 27 years ago, told Daily Voice.
"In a world with certain people pushing so much negativity out there, it's wonderful to see the hearts that these men and women show," he said.
You can drop unwrapped toys and monetary donations 24 hours a day in the vestibule of Fairview police headquarters on Anderson Avenue, said Pierotti, who was on his way Friday to Wal-Mart and Toys R Us to buy presents with funds donated by area businesses.
On Wednesday morning, Fairview police will truck the toys to the Closter firehouse for inspection and sorting by emergency responders, family members and friends in a special event catered by vendors.
From there, police officers from dozens of Bergen County towns -- dubbed the "Santa Response Team" -- will distribute the presents to terminally ill, sick and needy children at the M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center, among other locations.
The collection provides enough leftovers to fill Christmas wish lists for several local organizations that service needy children and their families, Nicoletti said.
Military members from the Teaneck Armory also turn out in force again — both to collect presents for families of soldiers overseas and to transport the deluge of gifts in four vehicles to the various locations.
As is the custom, personal wish lists are also filled for local families in need.
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