Town stuffs vehicles with toys and joy

Dec 3, 2023

Christmas is the giving season, and Wareham town departments kicked it off by arranging toy donation events for children in need on Saturday, Dec. 2.

The Wareham Police Department had its Stuff-a-Cruiser event that day, parking police vehicles outside of Walmart and Target and encouraging shoppers to stuff those vehicles with toys. The Wareham Transportation Department parked a school bus on Main Street for its own "Stuff-a-Bus" donation event.

Community members came out in droves to make donations for both events. Bags of donated toys filled up the inside of the transportation department's school bus, and shoppers filled the cruisers twice-over by mid-day. 

Shoppers came out of the department store with entire shopping carts full of items for the police cruiser, said an officer helping with the police department's event. 

Paul Athansiou, one of several children helping the police department with Stuff-a-Cruiser, said it was a "great time … It's nice to give back to the community."

Police spokesperson Caleb LaRue said Wareham's Department of Natural Resources helped the police out, driving around and collecting toys from both donation points. 

"Especially around the holidays, all you want to do is be able to help kids," said police officer Caleb LaRue. 

Lisa Linhares, who organized the "Stuff-a-Bus" event together with fellow bus driver Lori Ellis, said they "see the need" in the homeless and the people in need while making their routes. 

The donated toys went to Turning Point, a non-profit that helps families in need. 

The transportation department made sure to schedule its event to coincide with the police department's event and with the town parade, Linhares said. The parade passed right by the bus as it came down Main Street during the afternoon.