The South Portland Toy Drive, in its 10th year, helped 280 South Portland children in need with new toys.

The South Portland Toy Drive helped 280 children in need with new toys this year. Courtesy photo

Each year, organizers and volunteers collect hundreds of new toys, boots and coats that are distributed to families with the help of local police officers and firefighters. The toy drive works with the teachers and school administrators in each of the schools to identify children most in need.

“We work hard to help make the holidays just a little bit brighter for every child on our list and this effort would not be possible without the help of our generous community,” said Liz Darling, this year’s toy drive director and business manager at Maine Roofing.

The drive culminated with a party Saturday night at Evie’s Ferry Village Watering Hole, 121 Sawyer St., South Portland. Starting at 6 p.m.. “Hundreds of members of the community joined in for a night of fun and cocktails and helped fill the place with toys,” Darling said.

On Monday, Dec. 13, starting at 8 a.m. at Maine Roofing, Inc. (24 Bishop Ave., South Portland) members of the police and fire departments, along with volunteers, unloaded an overfilled box truck and sorted and bagged all of the items for each of the families. The sort usually takes a couple of hours. At 11:30 a.m., police officers delivered the loaded box truck to the South Portland Community Center, located at 21 Nelson Road.

Volunteers collect hundreds of new toys, boots and coats that are distributed Courtesy photo

Volunteers, along with police and fire personnel, assisted at the community center that afternoon when the families were scheduled to pick up their gifts.

The drive is a partnership with the South Portland Police Department, South Portland Police Patrolmen’s Association, South Portland Fire Department, South Portland Professional Firefighters Local 1476, South Portland school system, South Portland Community Center, Maine Roofing, Inc., Maine Properties, LLC, Evie’s Ferry Village Watering Hole, Port Harbor Marine and People’s United Bank- Mill Creek.

For more information, call Liz Darling at 767-4243 or email [email protected]

On Monday, Dec. 13, members of the police and fire departments along with volunteers, unloaded an overfilled box truck and sorted and bagged all of the items for each of the families. Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo