BERLIN – Several families in town will have a better holiday season this year thanks to fifth graders and the Berlin Police Department.
“It was fantastic,” said Police Detective Theodore Fuini. “The kids were ecstatic to be there.”
Earlier this month, three elementary school students were chosen through a lottery system to accompany officers on a trip to the toy store to buy gifts for families in need.
The event, in its second year, is part of the D.A.R.E. program for fifth graders.
“It’s a great opportunity,” said School Superintendent David Erwin. “I’m overwhelmed by the kindness in this community.”
The students and their parents, as well as some siblings, helped officers shop for 11 families at the Toys R’ Us on the Berlin Turnpike.
Fuini said it was the most amount of families the program has been able to help. Last year, students and officers bought gifts for five families.
The recipients are chosen by the town’s social services department with only the age and gender known to the officers and student shoppers. The services department later distributes the gifts to the chosen families.
The gifts were purchased this year with $2,000 in donations from the Berlin Crafters Group and community.