The Johnston Police Department has issued a S.O.S. bulletin for its Explorers Post 405: Save our Season.
With help from Mayor Joseph Polisena and Police Chief Richard Tamburini, the Explorers are hoping to make the holidays bright for families in Johnston through the Toys for Kids drive that they have conducted for more than 20 years. But continuing that tradition this year could prove difficult, as donations are slow coming.
“We’re hoping to set an all time record, but we’re way down in donations of toys this year,” said Captain Marc Boisvert. “We are in need of everyone’s help at this special time; it’s an important program and we hope people come forward to help.”
Many families are in need of help, now more than ever, and Boisvert hopes the town will rise to the occasion and answer that call.
“Last year, the children of over 125 Johnston families benefited from this program. This year we expect an even greater need and again we’re asking for everyone’s help,” he said.
Gifts go directly to young men and women in Johnston. Toys and gifts are needed for children of all ages, and donors are asked to drop off new, unwrapped gifts to the Johnston Police Department or Johnston Senior Center.
Gifts can also be dropped off to the Senior Center tonight, when the JPD Explorers Post, which is a sanctioned troop of the Narragansett Council of Boy Scouts, will hold its annual Christmas Wrapping Party beginning at 6.
“We welcome everyone and anyone who’d like to help wrap Christmas presents for children of needy families. It’s always a great night and we’ll even have refreshments on hand,” Boisvert said.
Janice Riley, who serves as president of Friends of the Explorers, says it is an event she looks forward to every year.
“It always gets me in the true spirit of Christmas,” she said. “It’s all about giving back to the children.”
Riley also urged people to bring a toy donation to the wrapping party. If you don’t have time to shop, she said that gift cards work especially well for teenagers.
“A gift card is great for older children,” Riley said. “We use the new unwrapped toys for the younger children.”
If you know of a family that is in need of help from the Explorers Post 405 Toys for Kids program, call Boisvert at 231-4210 ext. 3138. Distribution is confidential.