GOWANDA - For families in Gowanda who may need some extra help during this holiday season, it may not be too late. The Gowanda Police Department Police Benevolent Association is sponsoring the Cops, Kids and Christmas clothing and toy drive.
According to Officer Jen Alessi donations for the event are "going well." Donations that are being sought are clothing, toys and monetary donations. Families in need in the village of Gowanda as well as those who just need a little extra help are encouraged to get in contact with Alessi. All donations are kept confidential.
"I set up a Santa shop in the municipal hall where parents come in and they get to choose what they want for their children," Alessi said. "They come in and they leave."
John Tagliaferro presents a donation to Officer Jen Alessi on behalf of Gowanda's Sons of the American Legion Post 409 and Gowanda Veterans Assn. Inc., Men's Auxiliary Post 5007 for the 2012 Cops, Kids and Christmas holiday drive.
Alessi is trying to get families who just may need a little extra help this season as well as those who struggle with poverty year round to use the drive if needed.
"We'd just like to incorporate more working families and families that may be struggling with lay offs this year," Alessi said.
Donations this year are the same as last year and what was expected, Alessi said and included a large donation picked up from a church in Hamburg. Each year the church donates toys to Gowanda's holiday drive. Starting this past week, Alessi turned the village hall into Santa's shop.
Families who want to pick up donations are encouraged to call Alessi at 913-1143 to set up an appointment. When families call Alessi, she will ask if the families are looking for anything specific.
"When (families) call me I will ask if they want anything specific and try to get it," she said.
Donations are still being accepted from "clothing to stocking stuffers." Donations can be dropped off at the Gowanda Police Department or they can contact Alessi directly.
"I can always use donations. I never turn away donations," she said.
Donations will also be accepted right up until Christmas and families can still contact Alessi for donations up until Christmas. Alessi will be working both Christmas Eve and Christmas. Those wishing to donate or who want to be included in the donation list are asked to contact Alessi.
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