BERKELEY – In spite of the pandemic, a large amount of food and toys were donated, showing that people in the community have a big heart.
The Policemen’s Benevolent Association 237 held a toy drive, and the Berkeley Shores Homeowners’ Civic Association held a food drive, both in the parking lot of H&M Potter Elementary School one Saturday morning. Both said that the events were successful.
This is the kick-off of the 2020 toy drive, said Chris Shick, delegate to PBA 237. They will be handing out the toys to needy families in December. They had surpassed the previous year’s donations about halfway through the event.
“There’s been hard times with this pandemic,” he said. “We’ve definitely seen more need this year. People are out of work. But I’ve also seen that people are more giving. That has to do with Berkeley Township being a really great community.”
“If anybody is in need of assistance this year, please reach out to me,” he said, providing his phone number: 732-232-6293.
The Berkeley Shores group agreed that donations were up. There were two vehicles with the trunks open, stuffed to the roof with grocery bags.
“This is fantastic,” said Charles Crunkleton, environmental director at the Association. “We usually fill up one SUV. This time, we’re going to surpass two.”
This is their annual food drive. The group takes their collection to food pantries, who can dole out the items to those in need.
The school is close to the ShopRite on Route 9 in Bayville so that might have helped with some donations.
“We have definitely heard there’s more of a need this year,” he said. “There are a lot of people hurting, and they need food especially.”