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San Bernardino police ask community’s help to ‘Stuff the Bearcat’ with toys for needy children

By in Press Enterprise on December 2, 2017

By Brian Whitehead The Children’s Hunger Fund, out of Sylmar, donated more than a thousand toys and some food and water to the San Bernardino Police Department for its annual “Stuff the Bearcat” toy drive. The public can donate toys and food on Tuesday, Dec. 5. (Photo courtesy of Sadie Albers)

Santa Claus’ sleigh will have a different look Tuesday in San Bernardino.

In place of what reindeer traditionally pull on Christmas Eve will be a bearcat tactical vehicle traditionally used by police to keep people safe during emergencies.

The San Bernardino Police Department is hosting its annual “Stuff the Bearcat” toy drive from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday at police headquarters, 710 N. D St.

The bearcat was stuffed three times last year.

“I was literally blown away by the generosity shown by our community,” said Lt. Michael Madden, who worked his first ‘Stuff the Bearcat’ toy drive last winter. “The number of people who stopped by to give us toys, from city employees to residents, was very humbling.

“People will often say San Bernardino has issues,” Madden continued, “but yet when there’s the need to come together, people absolutely step up to the plate.”

San Bernardino police seek toys and food for children and teenagers.

Santa Claus Inc., a local children’s charity, and The Salvation Army will disperse what’s collected to in-need families, Madden said.

The city of Sylmar, through the nonprofit Children’s Hunger Foundation, recently donated thousands of toys and some food and water to the cause.

Amazon, a perennial donor, also provided thousands of dollars worth of toys.

“An event like this gets you in the holiday spirit early,” Madden said.

On Tuesday, police officers dressed as elves, and one as Santa, will welcome the public.

“Every donation is appreciated,” Madden said. “We want those donations that a child will be really excited about receiving.”

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