Lackawanna County Sheriff’s Department hosting toy drive for The Wright Center for Patient & Community Engagement
Members of the sheriff’s office and PCE pose in front of the transport van they aim to fill with toys for children. Participating in the program, front row from left, are Gerri McAndrew, co-director, PCE; Deputy Bob Moore; Cpl. Brenda Goosley; Holly Przasnyski, PCE director; Cpl. Ryan Deluccie; K-9 Ammo; Deputy David Pascolini; Deputy Lisa Deustachio; and Cpl. Joe George; second row, Lt. John T. Padula; Deputy Jason Gilbert; Cpl Kerry MgHugh; and Sheriff Mark McAndrew.
Lackawanna County Sheriff’s deputies will ensure local children have a great holiday season by hosting a toy drive benefiting The Wright Center for Patient & Community Engagement (PCE).
Deputies are asking the public to help fill the department’s transport van with new, unwrapped toys on Dec. 2-4 during the Lackawanna Winter Market on Courthouse Square, 200 N. Washington Ave., Scranton. The outdoor market will feature craft vendors, live music, food, and the lighting of the county’s Christmas tree.
The drive benefits PCE, a subsidiary of The Wright Center for Community Health, that focuses on improving the health and well-being of residents across Northeast Pennsylvania. Throughout the year, PCE hosts food giveaways at their clinics and provides transportation vouchers to patients who have trouble getting to and from doctors’ appointments. Additionally, PCE distributes backpacks filled with school supplies and hosts school uniform giveaways and clothing closets for needy residents.
Last year, sheriff’s deputies held a food drive for PCE, according to Cpl. Joe George. They collected and donated more than 12 cases of nonperishable food. They hope to build on that success with the upcoming toy drive. The Lackawanna County Sheriff’s Association and Sheriff Mark McAndrew have donated $250 each to purchase toys for the drive.
“There are a lot of people in Lackawanna County who need a helping hand, and we want to ensure families – especially their children – have a happy holiday season,” he said.
Gerri McAndrew, co-director of PCE, also mentioned the deep need in the community, especially during the holidays. “Last year, we helped 60 families at our clinics with toys and clothes, plus we adopt families through the Salvation Army,” she said, adding that PCE serves about 900 children annually. “This drive will enable us to help more families.”
While collecting toys for children might not seem as urgent as some other PCE initiatives, McAndrew thinks about her own kids and how they feel at Christmas.
“I don’t want any child’s heart to break on Christmas morning,” she said. “They should get at least one present.”
Donations of new, unwrapped toys will be accepted by deputies throughout the county’s Winter Market on Friday, Dec. 1, from 5 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 2, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 3, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Look for sheriff’s deputies and their transport van near the main entrance to the Lackawanna County Courthouse.