SALEM – The sixth annual Stuff-A-Cruiser event was a huge success on Nov. 19.
“Through this event, we bring out the best in Salem and our surrounding communities. We never miss our target and always have a surplus to deliver to other agencies and I feel this is because of the strong relationship the department has with the community and our brotherhood of police. said Quaker Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 88 President Mike Garber.
The annual event began in 2017 and is made possible by the joint efforts of the Salem Police Department, Quaker Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 88, Columbiana County Job and Family Services, Ohio CAN, Ohio State Highway Patrol Post 15 and the Salem Walmart. event each year, and dozens of community volunteers.
Thanks to the generosity of the community, this year’s event filled nine ships and was able to help 97 children of all ages and donate two large boxes of toys to the Toys for Toys toy drive. Even the most expensive items on many children’s wish lists have been donated, Garber said, including hoverboards, televisions, gaming equipment and other electronics.
“A big part of our success with this event each year is the incredible volunteers we get. We have community volunteers, off-duty officers and dispatchers on their days off, volunteers from Work and Family Services and even on-duty officers when available. Garber said.
Salem St. Nick and former Salem Police Department sergeant and current sheriff’s deputy John Skeets volunteered their time again this year, reprising their starring roles as Santa Claus and the Grinch, respectively, to spread Christmas cheer and support the show.
Kim Casto, wife of Lt. Dave Casto, said Garber said families of police officers provide vital support each year, leading the police department’s efforts to sort and wrap gifts and ensure they are assigned to the right child.
“This would not be possible without them and all the hard work they do for us. In a way, it’s an easy job for us to collect the toys and bring them back to the department. Our family volunteers sort, wrap and distribute the gifts to the 97 children accordingly. Garber said.
Although there is usually no goal for this event, the program has received requests for more expansion as the goal is to help as many children as possible. Garber is hopeful to see the program expand to meet these demands; However, he noted that more details need to be confirmed before committing to the expansion.
Garber wanted to once again thank all the organizations that support this incredible program each year; All community, and family volunteers; All officers and dispatchers who donated their time when not on duty; Salem Walmart who hosts the event every year and their incredible donations.
“Thanks to their support, we were able to have our sixth incredibly successful year in a row. None of this would have been possible without their support.” Garber said.