Police ask for donations to ‘Stuff the Cruiser’
Beatrice police are asking for the public’s help to once again “Stuff the Cruiser.”
Officers will be at Walmart on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. to accept donations of new and unopened toys that will ultimately end up in the hands of area kids.
Officer Derrick Hosick helped launch Stuff the Cruiser three years ago and said the response has been incredible.
“It’s overwhelming how much the community responds to this and how people look forward to it,” he said. “Three months before we’re ready to go, I’m already getting monetary donations or questions about when we’re doing this. Every year it seems to get bigger and better.”
The monetary donations are used to purchase batteries and other accessories for toys, as well as gifts for teenagers that are less frequently donated.
Stuff the Cruiser has become an annual tradition that the department takes pride in. Officer Natasha Nesbitt said in addition to spending their holiday weekend standing outside to collect donations, many officers are also volunteering their time to do so.
“We try to be involved in the community throughout the year and this is the one huge thing that we do that helps us get with the community and do things for them,” she said. “We want to show that we do care about the community 100 percent. Not just when we’re on shift; it’s all the time.”
Beatrice police will deliver the toys to the YMCA next month, where they’ll ultimately be distributed. The toy delivery on Dec. 12 at 10 a.m. is an event in itself, when a line of police cars full of toys roll up to the YMCA.
“We’re hoping that a lot of people show up for that and we welcome everyone from the community to show up,” Hosick said. “We get basically every vehicle that we have in the fleet up and running. We load them up with toys and light the sirens when we go there and officially deliver the toys to the YMCA. It’s a huge production.”
Hosick said no child is turned away when toys are distributed and in the past there have been more than enough toy donations to go around. Toys will be distributed at a later date during a family fun night at the YMCA.