On Monday, November 16, the Auburndale Police Department held a Toys for Tots Drive-Up & Drop event to provide outreach to the local community. APD staff setup a space on Orange Street in the grassy area outside of the city’s finance office where they donned elf hats, festive decorations and waited for drivers to arrive with gifts to drop off.

This toy donation drive netted a total of 112 toys that will be added to ongoing efforts by the Auburndale Police Department to provide supplies to Polk County’s Toys for Tots campaign. It is an important part of their outreach to help provide some joy to those who are less fortunate during the Christmas holiday. Chief Andy Ray stated, “Unfortunately, sometimes we find ourselves dealing with a lot of negative situations and dealing with families and individuals, who are experiencing their worst day. So the opportunity to work with families that are in a difficult situation and make things a little brighter and make Christmas special, is great for us.”

The basic mission of the Marine Corps Toys for Tots is to collect new, unwrapped toys and distribute them to less fortunate children at Christmas. Despite 2020 being a challenging year, the organization is working hard as ever to deliver to communities across the nation. In 2019, Polk County Toys for Tots supported 14,248 children with almost 46,000 toys distributed throughout the region. Auburndale Police Department hope that with their support, and the efforts of others, Polk County Toys for Tots can provide even more service this year when it is most needed.

If you would like to donate toys to Toys for Tots, the Auburndale Police Department and the Auburndale Fire Department have collection bins inside of their lobbies, available Monday-Friday, 8 AM-5 PM. Those collection bins will be available until Monday, December 14. All toys collected will be secured and transported to the Toys for Tots warehouse, which is located in Auburndale.