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Members of the Dunn’s Corners Fire Department and Westerly Police Department drop off donations collected at a Walmart food drive to the Jonnycake Center of Westerly last week. The one-day collection led to 3,777 pounds of food being donated, officials said. Courtesy Dunn’s Corners Fire Department via Facebook

Connecticut State Police will kick off the holiday season toy and gift collection on Saturday with a Stuff-A-Cruiser event, part of ongoing state and local efforts over the next few weeks in order to provide a happy holiday for the less fortunate.

The state police drive, which will include a collection point in Tolland from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the town green, is part of an effort by the agency to collect for each district in 2018. All barracks will continue to receive donations through Dec. 14, which will be donated back to that barrack’s coverage area. 

But the collection is just one of several occuring in the region. 

During the second weekend of December, Westerly Police Capt. Shawn Lacey said his agency would be partnering with the Dunn’s Corners Fire Department to host a collection at Walmart on 258 Post Road. Further details were expected to be released this week, officials said. 

“All proceeds from the drive will go back to the Jonnycake Center of Westerly to help those locally who need it,” Lacey said.

In Stonington, police and emergency responders will host their fifth annual Stuff-A-Cruiser event on Saturday, Dec. 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at police headquarters, 173 S. Broad St. in Pawcatuck. 

The department said in a Facebook post that all donations will be brought to Stonington Human Services and the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center, where they will be donated to local families in need for the holiday season.

In Chariho regional towns, Matthew’s Wish has established 14 collection locations and made their plea to residents in Hopkinton, Richmond and Charlestown. The drive will wrap up with a Community Toy Parade on Dec. 8 from Chariho Plaza in Wyoming to the R.I. Center Assisting Those in Need, located at 805 Alton Carolina Road in Charlestown. 

The donations will then be distributed to clients of RICAN through the organization’s Santa’s Workshop, with the help of other human service organizations in the area. 

For more on the Matthew’s Wish collection and locations, visit its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/matthewswishri/.

Sun staff 

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