Ocean County Press Release
OCEAN COUNTY officials are hoping to make this holiday season the most wonderful time of the year for everyone and are asking for your help.

"We are encouraging our citizens to help those less fortunate by participating in the Ocean County Sheriff's Office Annual Toy Drive," said Ocean County Freeholder John P. Kelly, Director of Law and Public Safety. "This drive has helped hundreds of families and children in past years and we want to do the same in 2018.

"With this annual toy drive, under the direction of Sheriff Michael Mastronardy, we have the opportunity to help bring a little holiday happiness into the lives of families that may be going through a difficult time," Kelly said.

Sheriff Mastronardy said that last year the drive helped more than 400 families and provided toys to more than 1,300 children throughout the County. The drive collects new, unwrapped toys for children of all ages.

"We are again working with the Ocean County Police Chiefs Association and local police departments in order to make sure families that are in need are served by the program," Mastronardy said. "It's gratifying that so many people want to donate and help.

"This year the number of requests for toys has already surpassed last year," Mastronardy said. "We are hopeful through the generosity of our citizens we can help those who have signed up."

While toy distribution will start on Dec. 15, new and unwrapped toys can still be donated up until Dec. 20. Toys for children aged 10 and older are especially needed.

New and unwrapped toys can be dropped off at a number of locations throughout Ocean County including the Ocean County Clerk's Office, Ocean County Courthouse, 118 Washington St., Toms River; Ocean County One Stop Center, 1027 Hooper Ave., Building 2, Toms River; Ocean County Administration Building, 101 Hooper Ave., Toms River; Ocean County Southern Service Center, Routes 9 and 72, Manahawkin; County Connection, Ocean County Mall, JC Penney Wing, Hooper Avenue, Toms River and the Ocean County Training Center, Volunteer Way, Waretown.

Also, toy bins are at the following Ocean County Library branches: Brick Branch, 301 Chambers Bridge Road, Brick Township; Lacey Branch, 10 East Lacey Road, Forked River; Manchester Branch, 21 Colonial Drive, Manchester Township; and the main branch of the Ocean County Library at 101 Washington St., Toms River.

"This effort is supported by the generosity of the Ocean County government family, from the staff at the courthouse and Sheriff's Office, to the workers in Southern Ocean County, the county staff is helping to make a difference this holiday season," said Ocean County Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little. "We are collectively asking the citizens to do what they can to help."

For those residents who are in need of some assistance with toys this Christmas, please register with the Sheriff's Department by filling out the Sheriff's Toy Drive Application Form by the Dec. 12 deadline. The form may be accessed from the Ocean County Sheriff's Office website home page at www.co.ocean.nj.us/OCsheriff. Or call 732-929-2161 for information on requesting assistance or for providing donations. Toy distribution is scheduled for Dec. 15 and 16.

"I want to extend my appreciation to everyone involved in this program," said Ocean County Freeholder Virginia E. Haines. "This toy drive makes a big difference for so many children. That is what the season is all about."

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