AP NEWS

Bridgeport Toys for Tots to have second distribution Saturday

December 21, 2018

BRIDGEPORT — A problem with email and postcard distribution for Toys for Tots pickup last week meant roughly half the families expected to pick up toys didn’t show up.

Jerry Martinez, co-director of Toys for Tots in Bridgeport, said the community pulled together to replenish toys for families in need after a theft on Dec. 1 left the organization without an estimated $80,000 worth of toys.

And families with last names that begin with letters A through L were expected to pick up their toys on Dec. 15 at the Greater Bridgeport Christian Fellowship Church.

“We were expecting about 800 families,” Martinez said of the Dec. 15 pickup. “Probably half showed up.”

He said the reason was a problem notifying families about the Saturday distribution. Each year, Martinez said, they send out emails and postcards to remind residents to pick up toys.

But a lot of emails ended up in people’s spam folders. And many postcards didn’t arrive until Saturday because of a problem at the Post Office, Martinez said.

But those families won’t go without. Instead, Martinez said, those who weren’t able to pick up their stuff on Dec. 15 will be able to stop by the church from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

“We are pretty certain we got enough donations to service all the families,” this year, Martinez said. He estimated about 1,600 families that reached out to Toys for Tots in Bridgeport for help this year.

And when it comes to tracking down the person of interest in this theft, Martinez said police are working on it.

Shortly after the theft, police publicly released a photo of a man named Infinite Seven. Police said that was the man’s legal name. He was referred to as a person of interest.

“They’re pretty certain they have the suspect,” Martinez said Thursday. “We’re waiting for them to make an arrest.”

AP RADIO
Update hourly