‘Stuff-a-Cruiser’ toy drive to support Rhode Island’s needy youth, spread holiday cheer

KINGSTON, R.I. — December 4, 2019 — Many families can’t afford to buy gifts for their children during the busy holiday season, but the University Police Department is ready to help. They will host their fifth annual Stuff-a-Cruiser toy drive to benefit local charities and Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

“Creating a toy drive was a way to help children, and to uplift people,” Police Maj. Michael Jagoda said. “It’s been one of our most successful community outreach programs. Last year we collected more than 3,500 unwrapped toys and all kinds of donations that benefited social service agencies throughout Rhode Island and parts of Connecticut, as well as Hasbro Children’s Hospital. It’s an opportunity to see how fortunate we are, and to give back to the community that supports us, to help the families who may not have the opportunities to give their children toys, gifts or clothing.”

Donations in the form of toys will be accepted Dec. 14 and 15 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Walmart, 1031 Ten Rod Road, North Kingstown.

Toys will also be accepted at the URI Police Station, 85 Briar Lane, Kingston Campus from now until Dec. 16.

“We aim to make a positive impact for those social service providers who don’t have the resources they need. When our officers go out and deliver the toys to our community members, you should see the smiles. It’s why we do it.”

URI Police Station was filled to the brim with toys
Following the toy drive in 2015, the URI Police Station was filled to the brim with toys. URI photo by Shelbey Galliher.

The toy drive supports several local charities, including Children’s Friends out of Providence, the Providence Center, Olean Center in Westerly, Wakefield Shelter, and Hasbro Children’s Center.

“If any of our community members want to help deliver the toys, they are welcome to come,” added Jagoda with a smile. “ There’ll be a lot of Santas that day.”

This charitable endeavor is only one of many that the University’s police force organizes. The officers also raise money for Rhody Outpost, the University’s food pantry, and donate school supplies to local school districts.

To volunteer for the Stuff-A-Cruiser event or make a donation, contact URI Police Officer Paul Hanrahan at 401-874-4910.

Lauren Poirier, an intern in the Marketing and Communications Department at URI and public relations and English major, wrote this press release.