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Boynton Beach Police Department modifies annual holiday toy drive due to coronavirus

Police department will now use Amazon, Target online registries
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Posted at 2:53 PM, Sep 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-17 18:38:40-04

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — The holidays are still a few months away, but preparations are starting.

The Boynton Beach Police Department is modifying its annual toy drive because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Out toy drive is our biggest initiate of the year," said Public Information Officer Stephanie Slater. "I think that is why my anxiety is through the roof. It is why we are planning so early."

Slater said the department has started to look at how it will handle collecting donations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In previous years, the department had officers collect money outside of stores.

"We can't do that this year," Slater said.

Instead, this year, people can donate or order toys online through wish lists, and the toys will be sent directly to police.

Ryan Lindsey from Texas Roadhouse said they are one of the few businesses already signed up to be a drop-off site for toys. They are even looking at different ways to collect items by utilizing their to-go-system.

"We place food in the back of the car and they place the item in the back, and we gladly pick that out and bring it on inside to make sure that is contactless as well," Lindsey said.

Slater said the department is hoping other businesses sign up to be drop-off sites to help create more community involvement.

"I think this year more than ever there is a need," Slater said.

Drop-off sites will be open from Nov. 23 to Dec. 14. Businesses who want to be a drop-off site can contact the Boynton Beach Police Department.

The online toy registries are now open. You can access the Amazon registry by clicking here, or the Target registry by clicking here.