Each year the Lloyd Police Department collects toys for children during the holiday season but this year has been a little different due to the covid-19 pandemic. Chief James Janso said covid has restrained what they can do in the community.
“Our hub for the toy drive is usually the Methodist Church in town and unfortunately they are closed down this year because of covid and they couldn’t get something safely in place,” he said. “I still wanted to do something for our community but I had to figure out an alternate plan so I reached out to Toys for Tots, whose been vetted for years and run by the Marine Corps, and they were willing to help us.”
Janso said the central collection center in Ulster County for Toys for Tots is located in Kingston.
“It probably is one of the biggest that we’ve had. Our community really stepped up, not that I didn’t think they weren’t going to, but I thought with stores being closed people weren’t going to get out, thinking it would be a lower toy draw than normal. But no, this year I think we have a lot more than we’ve ever had,” he said.
There were only four drop off locations in Lloyd this year; the Police Station, Town Hall, the Masonic Lodge and Vineyard Commons. Janso said anyone in town who needs toys for their children, “will have a number on our Facebook page and they can contact the manager who is in charge of the program and set up a time and location where they can go and get toys. We have a great community here and they are so supportive of what we do to give back to our residents. This was overwhelming to see so many toys this year and they kept coming in up until last night.”
Tammy Haight and Karen Baxter collected the toys at the police station and brought them up to the Best Western in Kingston. They handled Woodstock, West Hurley, Kingston, Highland, Modena, Gardiner, New Paltz, Kerhonkson, Napanoch and Accord. They usually serve about 3,500 families and are anticipating even more this holiday season.
Janso said the police and fire departments also held their annual Santa 2020 tour on Sunday, stopping at various locations that allowed kids to visit with Santa for a few minutes. Parents followed on twitter exactly where Santa was on his route so their kids did not have to stand outside in the cold for very long.
“I just want to thank the community and the county for their support for their donations. It’s going to a good cause and even with the covid, kids are going to have a good year,” he said.