Dec. 7, 2020
How many toys can fit in the back of a Michigan Department of Natural Resource conservation officer’s patrol truck? Officers are working with local organizations to collect toys at three socially distanced drop-off locations in Clare, Detroit and Gaylord. All toys – which will be given to local children before Christmas Day – should be new, in original packaging and free of any wrapping or decorations.
Anyone bringing toys to the OAC will receive a courtesy family four pack for admission to the center, which can be used once it reopens. Additionally, donors will automatically be entered in a drawing to win a free, exclusive family experience – a group of up to 10 people, with a guide to assist them, will have the Outdoor Adventure Center to themselves for 90 minutes. To receive the courtesy admission tickets and a chance at the exclusive family experience, donated toys should be securely tagged with the donor’s name, phone number and email address.
Toys collected at the Detroit locations will be donated to the Detroit Police Department’s Sergeant Santa Program. Last year, conservation officers doubled the number of families that received donations in 2018.
“We are honored to work with our brothers and sisters in the Detroit Police Department for this noble cause,” said Lt. Todd Szyska, DNR law enforcement supervisor in Detroit. “Last year was very successful and we hope to see the same contributions. This year has been exceptionally difficult for our community and we want to do everything we can to make sure that every child in Detroit has a wonderful Christmas.”
Jay’s Sporting Goods will accept toy donations during normal business hours now through Sunday, Dec. 13, at the Clare store (8800 S. Clare Ave.) and the Gaylord store (1151 S. Otsego Ave.). Although donations can be dropped off anytime during store hours, conservation officers also will be in the parking lots with patrol trucks at both locations as follows:
Toys dropped off at the Jay’s Sporting Goods locations will be donated to the local Toys for Tots programs in Clare and Gaylord.
“Working with Jay’s Sporting Goods is an excellent partnership, making it easy for holiday shoppers to also pick up some gifts that help kids connect with the outdoors,” said Lt. Brandon Kieft, DNR law enforcement supervisor in Roscommon. “We are excited to work with our northern Michigan community to help local children have the Christmas they deserve.”
Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned state peace officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety, and protect citizens by providing general law enforcement services and conducting lifesaving operations in the communities they serve.
Note to editors: An accompanying Stuff a Truck graphic is available below for download.