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'Every kid deserves a Christmas,' woman says as she donates to Toys for Tots

Posted by Metro Desk  December 20, 2010 11:56 AM

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FRAMINGHAM – Sophia McCormick had tears in her eyes when she dropped off ten large shopping bags brimming with toys at the State Police headquarters here today.

“Every kid deserves a Christmas,’’ said the Winthop mother of three young children. “I just hope this puts a smile on someone’s face.’’

McCormick is one of an unknown number of people who are writing checks and donating toys today so that the Toys for Tots program can replenish the 1,500 toys stolen Saturday by a thief or thieves.

“It has been heartwarming to see people like Sophia,’’ Col. Marian McGovern, the top commander, said at a press conference here today. “This has touched a lot of people’s hearts.’’

Marc D. Kozin and his wife, Donna, were so disturbed by the theft that he planned was to drop off a check for $5,000. “It’s a noble cause,’’ said Kozin, who only grudgingly allowed his name to be published because his goal was to help, not gain media attention. “To have this happen on Dec. 20 is terrible.’’

State Police said today that people like McCormick and Kozin can donate toys and checks – no cash – at any barracks around the state. Checks should be made out to the Toys for Tots program. Donations will be accepted until 6 p.m. Tuesday, McGovern said.

The locations of State Police barracks can be found here.

A spokesman for the Walgreens drug store chain today said the company has resumed collecting toys at its 152 Massachusetts stores. The chain stopped taking toys Dec. 17, the collection deadline.

For McGovern the theft has also touched the cop in her, and she vowed to capture the people responsible for breaking into a storage facility early Saturday morning and stealing $15,000 of donated toys.

“It’s disgusting,’’ McGovern said of the theft, which took place at a Burlington warehouse early Saturday. She described herself as “very, very angry.’’

McGovern appealed to the public for help in tracking down the thief or thieves, asking that police be alerted if they find someone selling a large volume of toys well below market prices.

“We are asking the public to really keep their eyes and ears open,’’ she said. Police will be monitoring eBay and other auction sites for someone making large volume toy sales, she said.

The Globe reported in today's editions that the thief or thieves made off with an estimated $15,000 worth of toys. Whoever broke into the locked storage container also was selective in what they stole - all of the gifts were for children 8 years old and up and valued at between $15 and $30.

State and Burlington police are actively investigating.

Police asked anyone with any information about the theft "or has suspicions about a sudden presence of a large quantity of toys" to contact Burlington Police Department at (781) 270-1914 or Massachusetts State Police at (508) 820-2121.

Walgreens company spokesman Tyler Hough said Walgreens will now collect toys until tomorrow at noon and then drop them off at the nearest State Police barracks.

Hough said that this year, the chain’s 250 stores in New England participated and collected an estimated 10,000 toys that had been donated by customers. The resumption applies to the Massachusetts stores only, he said.

Originally published on the blog MetroDesk.

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