By Sadef Ali Kully
Patrol Borough Queens South launched its annual toy drive Tuesday which will continue until the first week of December.
Every year, the NYPD’s Community Affairs, Operations and the Auxiliary units collect thousands of brand new toys from across the southern part of the borough for disadvantaged and/or hospitalized children.
“Last year we had lots and lots of bags of toys. It was incredible,” said Sgt. John Schroeder, who is organizing the toy drive.
Schroeder said over a thousand toys were collected last year, most donated by auxiliary and police officers.
“I did this when I was working in Brooklyn and now I am doing it here,” he said.
The toy drive collects unwrapped, brand new toys to be donated for children in southern Queens.
Toys range from stuffed animals to puzzles for all age groups and both genders.
“We are happy with what we get as long it’s within the guideline,” he said.
Schroeder said the toys have to unwrapped so that they can give them to the right boy or girl. “We have to know what it is so it can be distributed appropriately,” he said.
“These kids’ faces change when they see you coming with presents,” Schroeder added.
Toys for donation can be dropped off at the Operations Unit/Community Affairs division in Queens South at 71-01 Parsons Blvd. on the third floor until Dec. 10.
The toys are then distributed to children’s hospitals, shelters and families in need within the community.
“We used to all dress up to go and give out the gifts,” he said.
This year the NYPD will be joined by Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to help with the distribution of the toys.
“We try to do whatever we can for these kids,” Schroeder said.
This year the toys will given out at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center on Van Wyck Expressway, Queens Hospital Center on 164th Street and Hillside Houses, a family shelter.
Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at skull