CECIL COUNTY — The Toys for Tots campaign is kicking into high gear in Cecil County, with Christmas Day less than five weeks away.

“Our collection box out in our lobby is full of toys and games right now,” Maryland State Police Lt. Jeffrey Kirschner, commander of the agency’s North East Barrack, told the Cecil Whig on Tuesday.

Those donated gifts will be transferred into the barrack conference room — which serves as a temporary storage facility at this time of year — and then the empty collection box will be placed back into the lobby, where more citizens can make contributions to the Toys for Tots cause. That process likely will be repeated several times between now and mid-December.

“Last year, by the end of [the campaign], our conference room was full of toys and games,” Kirschner said, further recalling that those donations filled a box truck, which then transported the contributions to a sorting center in Cecil County.

MSP participates in the Toys for Tots campaign to ensure that children in needy families will have presents for Christmas.

All of the toys 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.

Meanwhile, the collection of Toys for Tots donations continued elsewhere in the county, including one in the form of a special event. On Wednesday, marking the second or third such event thus far this season, a Toys for Tots Toy Drive was held between noon and 5 p.m. at the Toys for Tots Building in the Big Elk Mall in Elkton. In addition to “new, unwrapped toys,” the organization accepted cash donations.

“We’re doing fantastic today. We have boxes and boxes of donated toys,” said Martha Loveless, an Elkton resident who is a Toys for Tots volunteer.

She noted that a lot of people also stopped to put money into collection jars held by her fellow volunteers lining the vehicle lane in front of the building.

“This is good. There are a lot of people in need in this county,” Loveless said.

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