Toy Drive Begins for Underprivileged Putnam Youngsters

Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith is asking area residents for their support in this year’s Putnam Community Action Program Annual Toy Drive. As in past years, teenagers in the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Cadet Program are helping to gather donated toys and other gifts for children in need in Putnam County.

The cadets help collect and sort donated items for delivery to underprivileged youths throughout Putnam County during the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays. Last year, through the generosity of donors and the efforts of the cadets and other volunteers and cooperating agencies, some 2,250 toys and gifts were distributed to about 750 children, giving them a brighter and happier holiday season.

The program is seeking donations of new, unwrapped toys or gifts for children between the ages of newborn and 18. Donors are invited to drop off items at the Sheriff’s Office headquarters located off Fair Street in Carmel, at the Town of Kent Police Department, located on Route 52 in Kent, at the Community Action Program Headquarters located at 121 Main St., Brewster, or at any of the number of banks and businesses participating in the Toys-for-Tots Program sponsored by the Marine Corps League. Donations should be dropped off as soon as possible, but preferably not later than Monday, Dec. 16, to ensure delivery to the children in time for the holidays.

Judy Callahan, director of the Community Action Program (“CAP”), has reported that the weakened economy and unemployment situation has created an increased need among many families in the county. CAP officials and volunteers are hopeful that the generosity of PutnamCounty citizens will enable CAP to achieve its goal of providing three gifts for each eligible youngster aided by the program. Callahan expressed special concern for youths in the age range of 12 to 18, for whom it is suggested that donors consider giving $25 gift cards for stores such as Best Buy, Old Navy, Kohl’s, and other retailers.

Speaking on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office Cadet Program, Sheriff Smith expressed his gratitude to citizens for their compassion, humanity and generosity displayed in past years’ toy drives and asked for continued support in this year’s program.

For more information on the annual toy drive, check the Putnam Community Action website at or call Callahan at 845-278-8021, ext. 17. The website contains information on the types of gifts that are most needed in order to meet the needs of Putnam County’s children. Tax-deductible monetary donations are also welcome and may be made via the website or by check made out to “Putnam Community Action Program/WestCOP,” to allow the CAP staff to purchase needed toys for Putnam’s children.

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