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MRAP filled many times over during Toys for Tots campaign

Lexington, SC, 12/11/2020) – Lexington Police Department took a moment to thank the community Thursday afternoon for all they have done during the department’s annual Toys for Tots “Fill the MRAP” campaign. This Christmas event ended successfully with a handover event to the Marines Toys for Tots Foundation at the Town of Lexington Municipal Complex that afternoon. A large box truck and cargo van were filled with donations which will support many families in need this Christmas.

Over the course of the past two weeks, officers from the Community Action Team, Lexington Police Department Chaplains, and Volunteers in Police Services (VIPS) members held donation events at Learning Express, Walmart, and Target. During each event, volunteers took in hundreds, if not several thousand toys, from the community who gave very generously. The Emergency Services Team MRAP vehicle was filled at least five to six times over with toys, bicycles, and other gifts.

Monetary donations surpassed $1,500 in addition to the toys. That was spent at Learning Express and Target. Lexington Police Chief Terrence Green, Major Matt Davis, and Community Action Team officers went on shopping sprees to buy toys for children this Christmas.

In their communication to the community, a spokesman for the department said they would like to thank Kay Jewelers and PetSmart who give hundreds of stuffed animals and Morningstar Storage who provided space for toys to be securely kept during this campaign. International Paper donated several hundred large boxes that were used for packing and protecting the toys while in transit from donations events to the Toys for Tots sorting warehouse.

The Columbia area Toys for Tots covers requests from the six counties of Lexington, Richland, Saluda, Kershaw, Newberry, and Fairfield. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and how it has affected employment for some, there has been a tremendous need for toys to meet the many requests this Christmas. There have already been over 2,700 requests for toys which will provide gifts for over 6,500 children. Toy donations have been less than in years past. Organizers suspect this may also be due to the pandemic. Because of this, the Marines Toys for Tots Foundation will continue to take donations through next Friday, December 18, 2020.

The greatest need for toys this year has been for infants, age birth to two years old, and children, age 10 to 12 years old. At this point in the campaign, most of the toys donated so far have been for children ages 3 through 9 years old.

If you can donate, please bring a new and unwrapped toy to the Lexington Police Department at 111 Maiden Lane or make a monetary donation on the Columbia Toys for Tots website which will be used to purchase more toys. Toys brought to the Lexington Police Department will be delivered to the Columbia Toys for Tots next Friday afternoon.

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