NORTH EAST — The annual “Toys for Tots” campaign ended on Friday, after about four weeks of gift collection at the North East Barrack, and it appears that it was, once again, a success, according to a Maryland State Police spokesman.

“They pulled up to the barrack in a box truck. When they were done loading it, the box truck was completely full of toys,” said Maryland State Police 1st Sgt. Joseph Catalano, who is second-in-command at the North East Barrack.

In late November, MSP placed collection boxes in the front vestibule, or foyer, of the North East Barrack, outside the main lobby to allow citizens to drop off brand new toys without entering the building — as a safeguard against the spread of coronavirus.

MSP Lt. Jeffrey Kirschner, who is the barrack commander, told the Cecil Whig in late November that, one day after the Toys for Tots campaign had kicked off, several packaged toys and games already were inside the donation boxes.

During the next four weeks, donated toys, games and other gifts continued to stream into the barrack.

“It was either Monday or Tuesday, one lady came in and dropped off two brand new bicycles,” Catalano said.

MSP officials expressed their gratitude to Cecil County citizens for rallying around the Toys for Tots campaign again this year.

In conjunction with the U.S. Marines Corp. Reserve, MSP participates in the Toys for Tots campaign to ensure that children in needy families will have presents for Christmas.

All of the toys that were collected at the North East Barrack will be separated by age-appropriateness, as well as gender-appropriateness, before they are distributed to the children, Kirschner said. Because the collected toys will be distributed regionally, Kirschner added, most of the toys collected here will benefit needy children in Cecil County.

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