The Meriden Police Department comes across children in need all the time, says Lt. Tom Cossette.
"We see families in some pretty tough situtations – halfway houses, domestic violence situations," Cossette said, "They need more things than we can provide as a police force."
On Saturday, for the first time, officers and local Marines will hold a for families police have come in contact with that are in dire need of a helping hand around the holidays.
The drive will be held in two locations in the city. Donations will be accepted from 9 a.m. - noon at , 33 West Main St., which will open specially on Saturday for the event, according to owner Sara Owen. They will also be taken at , at 470 Lewis Ave., near the Forever 21 Store on the second floor from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Organizers are looking for new toys and monetary donations, along with gift cards for older kids to places like Kohls, so they can buy clothing, Cossette said.
Families the department has identified will come pick up items later in the day on Saturday in a private event.
"We have an opportunity to help these families and keep Christmas alive in a child's heart," Cossette said in a press statement.
Additional Ways to Give – and receive – this Weekend
announced Friday that the local karate studio will hold a seperate toy and food drive Saturday during its belt grading and graduation event at the Meriden Boys and Girls Club at 15 Lincoln St. this Saturday from 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. The event is open to the public and admission is a non-perishable food item for the Connecticut Food Bank, or a new unwrapped toy for kids at the Boys and Girls Club.
The city's will distribute coats for those in need on Saturday from 1 - 4 p.m. at Washington Middle School, 1225 North Broad Street, Meriden. Those interested can still donate coats at the YMCA until 5 p.m. Friday and at Washington Middle School until noon Saturday, according to Joan Goodman at the Y.