The Davenport Police Association will hold its 15th annual Domestic Violence Christmas Toy Drive on Saturday and next Sunday at NorthPark Mall in Davenport to benefit children who will spend Christmas in Family Resources Inc.'s domestic violence shelter or safe house.
The toy drive will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. next Sunday outside of J.C. Penney.
Davenport police will be on hand to collect new unwrapped toys and tax-deductible monetary donations that will ensure children in the shelters have a present for Christmas.
“Many families have been afflicted by domestic violence, by mental, physical or sexual abuse, and this is a way to show charity and promote the spirit of Christmas at such a difficult time,” said Davenport Police Sgt. Eric Gruenhagen, president of the Davenport Police Association.
“The toy drive is a way that we can ensure that the most vulnerable in our society, specifically children, can have a happy and very merry Christmas,” Gruenhagen added.
“Without the assistance of Family Resources and the Davenport Police Association many of these children likely would not receive any sort of gift for Christmas.”
The toy drive began in 2002 when Family Resources' domestic abuse shelter was burglarized and all of the toys for the children were stolen. At that time, the Davenport Police Association and the Union of Professional Police stepped in, along with Gold's Gym, to mount a drive that replaced the toys. There was no drive the next year, but it resumed in 2004 and has been held each year since.
Donors also may drop off toys at the Davenport Police Department, 416 Harrison St.; US Adventure RV, 5120 Brady St.; or Matt Sturdevant State Farm Insurance, 1903 Pershing Ave., all in Davenport.
-- Thomas Geyer