The Marlborough Police Department has a 20 year tradition of delivering toys to families during the holiday season and they weren’t going to let a pandemic get in the way of carrying out their commitment to the community.
Head Dispatcher Jennifer VanAmburgh said they are making sure that only one person at a time entered town hall to pick up the toys. They had to have a proper face mask and use the provided hand sanitizer.
VanAmburgh said the actual donations of toys was down a bit this year but more people instead decided to send a check in to her department.
“I did shopping and I had to do like everybody else, I did a lot more online,” she said. “We have enough for all the families but I feel people are getting a late start. I’m still getting phone calls today so I am trying to accommodate them and hold it out through the weekend for the local families if needed and make an appointment with them.” She estimates that the Toy Drive helps 25 local families with gifts.
VanAmburgh said they provide toys for local families, “but whatever is left over goes to a domestic violence shelter that we work with and they will make sure that every child has at least one gift from here. They’ll come after all of our Marlboro-Milton families and pick up a gift. I work with Ulster County Child Protective Services to make sure if they have families in need and I reach out to Family of Woodstock to see if they have any families in need.”
VanAmburgh said she has the support of Chief Gerald Cocozza and the officers in the department, “who all help out in one way, shape or form,” and many businesses in town that contribute financially to make this annual gift giving program a success. She gave special thanks to Tina Rosa, the Supervisor’s secretary, “who makes sure that she clears the day to help me set up, clean up and hand out the toys. She’s always here with me.”