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'You can’t help but feel good' | Giving season in full effect across Connecticut

Cities and towns partnered with organizations to collect toys for families in need.

AVON, Connecticut — Black Friday marked the unofficial kick-off of the giving season for cities and towns across Connecticut. From donation boxes popping up at libraries, senior centers, and town halls in East Hartford to collections at firehouses in Southington. Municipalities across the state are taking up collections for families in need.

In Avon, police and fire joined forces outside Walmart Friday in the hopes of hooking Black Friday shoppers. Kids enjoyed exclusive access to the fire apparatus while police stuffed a cruiser. 

“Every year I love to come out here and get these kids anything I can get them. That’s why I filled the entire carriage," said Donna Pritchard of Simsbury.

The unwrapped toys will go to Avon-based Gifts of Love where they will provide inventory for a Christmas shop.

“We take the toys, we give them out to Gifts of Love and they set up a Christmas store so the families can come in, they can pick out gifts for their kids just as if they were coming to a store but totally free of charge," said Officer Jason Reardon of the Avon Police Department. 

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“They usually go through their social workers, and they come in and they shop. We have a clothing area, a housewares area, and we have a food area. This past week they all got turkeys," said Pritchard, also a volunteer with Gifts of Love.

"You can’t help but feel good, especially when the little kids come up and they hand you their toys—even though we know mom and dad bought it," said Avon Fire Prevention Officer Dennis Bianchi. 

Officials from Avon and Farmington will be back in front of the Avon Walmart on December 15th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to collect donations. People can also have toys mailed directly to the Avon Police Department at 60 West Main Street., Avon. Attention: Officer Reardon.

Samaia Hernandez is a reporter for FOX61 News. She can be reached at shernandez@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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