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Outpouring of love

Area sees record Toys For Tots donations

George Berry, a Toys for Tots organizer, collects gifts last year at the State Police barracks in Sturbridge. (click for larger version)
December 26, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — Due to Southbridge’s overwhelming generosity and good nature, Toys For Tots has celebrated its most successful year — ever.

This year brought in roughly five times as many toys as last year, as nearly 13,000 toys and $10,000 were donated. The Sturbridge State Police Office reported that over 1,200 toys were donated to their location alone.

For the past five years, just under three thousand toys and around $9,000 gets collected each year in this area.

“The people in Southbridge are the real heroes this Christmas,” said James Sottile, Toys For Tots coordinator. “I could not be prouder of the people of Southbridge. They really stepped up and deserve a huge pat on the back. The organizers of this program were just the middlemen. The people that donated are the reason behind its success.”

Due to the vast number of donated toys, Toys For Tots has been calling up churches, asking if anyone new has been added to their needy-family lists. Any toys left over will be kept for needy families for their children’s birthdays and those whose house has caught fire.

After the season, the coordinators will be meeting to discuss how the program can be expanded after this year and who else they can help. They also plan on helping more families of Marines in the coming years. The collected toys are housed in Town Hall until they are distributed.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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