Police fill two buses with toys for needy kids

By Douglas McCulloch | Dec 09, 2017
Photo by: Douglas McCulloch Dartmouth Police Det. Kyle Costa, Lorrie Murphy, and Dan Murphy load toys into the bus.

As the first snowfall of the season fell over the Dartmouth Target, police officers were busy stuffing toys into a school bus parked in front of the store.

It was the Dartmouth Police Department’s third annual Fill-The-Bus Toy Drive, organized to benefit Safe Zones, a New Bedford non-profit which provides gifts to children and families in need. Headed by Jerry Pinto, it’s turned into an annual event for the department.

“When Jerry approached us three years ago we didn’t hesitate in assisting,” said Dartmouth Police Det. Kyle Costa. “Every year it keeps growing.”

This year, volunteers from the police department, Bristol County Probation Department, and even teachers and families pitched in to greet shoppers, spread the word, and load toys into the bus. Tremblay's Bus Company provided school buses and staff to help load it too.

“I want to spread kindness,” said Sammie Murphy, Potter Elementary School teacher Lorrie Murphy's daughter as the two helped collect donations along with Lorrie’s husband Dan.

By 11:30 a.m. - just under three hours after the 9 a.m. start time - one bus was already close to being full. A short while later, a second bus arrived, which by the end of the day was also filled to the brim with toys.

Sammie Murphy watches over the toys as a bin gets close to being full. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Trembaly's Bus Company employee Candi Durant organizes toys on the bus. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Lorrie and Dan Murphy wheel a loaded cart to the bus. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Dartmouth police officers Sean McGuire and Frank Oliveira offer free hugs to passers-by in the Target main entrance. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
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