CLAWSON — The Clawson Police Department and the Clawson Goodfellows recently launched their second annual Fill the Cruiser toy drive to ensure that all Clawson families have a happy holiday.
The community is invited to drop off donations of new, unwrapped toys at the front desk of the Clawson Police Department, 425 N. Main St., north of 14 Mile Road. The toy drive will take place through Dec. 12.
Sgt. Scott Vierk, of the Clawson Police Department, said he was overwhelmed by the generosity of the Clawson community in the Fill the Cruiser toy drive’s inaugural year, although the Clawson Goodfellows and the Clawson Fire Department have historically collected toys for Christmas.
“The goal was to fill one police car, and we did more than that. We expect it to grow each year,” Vierk said. “Last year, all the toys were put into the basement of the fire station, and the families were brought in one at a time. We had so many toys, we told people to take more than what they picked out.”
He said he came up with the idea of partnering with the Clawson Goodfellows and the Fire Department on their annual Christmas toy collection as a way for the Police Department to become more involved in the community.
He said families can come forward or be nominated by someone else, and someone from the Fire Department or the Police Department will stop by their residence for an interview.
“We meet with them to see their needs, make sure it’s an actual need and make sure that it’s something they’d be interested in doing,” Vierk said. “(Last year’s recipients) were very grateful. Because of financial burdens, I think there’s a lot of stress that parents might not give their child such a great Christmas. But this way, kids wake up and there’s a lot of toys.”
Vierk said several Clawson businesses reached out to him about how they could help with the toy drive, and he has more ideas for future toy drives if they continue to grow.
“It turned out to be a much bigger success than I ever imagined,” he said. “The more the better. All the toys benefit Clawson families.”
Clawson Police Chief Scott Sarvello said that the relationship between the Police Department and the Fire Department has grown tremendously over the last year, and he was grateful for the inclusion of the police in the toy drive this year.
“This community is very good at fundraising,” Sarvello said. “Last year was our first year helping out, and it worked really well.”
He welcomes anyone interested in dropping off a toy at the Police Department to do so.
For more information about the toy drive, email Vierk at email@example.com.