Richmond police fill 3 cruisers with toys to help needy children

RICHMOND, R.I. (WPRI) — Richmond police officers volunteered their time on Dec. 9 at the Ocean State Job Lot in Wyoming to collect donations of new toys, games and gifts for children and families in need in the Chariho area through “Matthew’s Wish.”

Matthew Thayer, a 17-year-old junior at Chariho High School, asked for a toy drive for Christmas last year to collect toys for children who would otherwise go without. The toy drive, “Matthew’s Wish” was created by his parents to make sure that children in the Chariho area would know the joy of a new toy or gift regardless of their life’s circumstance or financial hardship their family may be facing.

This year’s “Stuff a Cruiser” event surpassed last year’s successful toy drive as it led to three cruisers being stuffed full with more than 240 toys. Police said donors offered $368 in cash donations, which was exchanged for a stack of $25 gift cards to be donated to child and families with a hardship that officers encountered while responding to calls in their patrol area.

All of the toys were delivered to Rhode Island Center Assisting those in Need (RICAN) as part of this year’s “Matthew’s Wish” toy drive. The success was celebrated with a toy convoy/parade consisting of emergency vehicles and volunteers on Dec. 10. The parade traveled through the Chariho Plaza in Wyoming to the RICAN facility in Charlestown.