Good vibes at Project Self-Sufficiency's holiday toy shop Police, volunteers, enjoy ensuring the Season of Hope is happy and safe

21 Dec 2018 | 08:38

Andover - Over the weekend, thousands of families received free toys and gifts for their children at the Season of Hope Toy Shop at Project Self-Sufficiency. The effort involved hundreds of volunteers who assisted patrons, provided music, and helped with traffic. Local law enforcement officials from the state and county joined forces to ensure the safety of volunteers and patrons, said Newton Police Chief Mike Richards, who oversaw the coordinated effort.
“Over the years, the toy shop has grown and there have been issues with traffic, access, and security,” Richards said.
Law enforcement officers from departments in Andover, Sparta, Newton, Ogdensburg, as well as state and county officers were on site during business hours on weekdays, and even weekends, too.
He also noted that sometimes the holiday spirit is a virtual two-way street, even if working. "...There’s a lot of good spirit and positive interaction with the public which is good for officers to experience."
The Season of Hope Toy Drive is coordinated by Project Self-Sufficiency, along with its partners First Hope Bank, Gravity DesignWorks, iHeartMedia, Inc., Intercar Mercedes Benz, Off Shore Marine, Pass it Along, The Printing Center, The New Jersey Herald, Selective Insurance Company of America, Service Electric Broadband Cable, Sparta Train Station, Stocker Bus Company, the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce, Sussex County Community College, Sussex Honda, and the United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. New, unwrapped toys and gift are provided to children in need from Sussex County, as well as residents of Northern Morris and Warren Counties.
“The Season of Hope Toy Shop is a large-scale event which stretches over numerous days and the number of families served here increases every year,” comments Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency. “We are exceptionally grateful to Newton Police Chief Mike Richards and all of the law enforcement personnel who gave freely of their time and expertise to coordinate the flow of traffic and to ensure the safety of our patrons and volunteers.”
Information about the Season of Hope Toy Drive and the programs and services available at Project Self-Sufficiency are available at or by calling 973-940-3500 or 844-807-3500.