First Responders Children’s Foundation, Berrien County Sheriff’s Office partner to deliver toys to the Boys and Girls Club

Published 10:51 am Thursday, December 16, 2021

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BERRIEN COUNTY — First Responders Children’s Foundation, in partnership with the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor announced the kickoff of the 2021 Toy Express program, which provides children in first responder communities nationwide, with free toys that bring holiday cheer.

The program provides a personal way to show gratitude to uniformed heroes and their families — and it has a profound impact on the communities in which they serve, officials said. Due to a rise in line of duty deaths in 2021, FRCF has expanded its focus on families in communities that have faced significant hardship. Despite being launched amidst a flurry of supply chain issues, this year’s Toy Express is moving full steam ahead as the foundation and its partners, SB Projects, CSX, SERVPRO, Mattel, Hess Toy Trucks, Good360 and Toys for Tots, all work with Total Quality Logistics (the largest privately held freight brokerage firm in the nation) to ensure free toys get delivered to children across Berrien County during a most challenging holiday delivery season.

“First Responders and their families have endured significant hardships this year, and the social and emotional impact it’s had on them is immeasurable,” said Jillian Crane, president of First Responders Children’s Foundation. “Keeping that top of mind has strengthened our commitment to delivering toys and joy this Christmas. Any individual or business can join us in that commitment by texting TOY to 24365.”

Last year, Toy Express impacted 346 cities across America. In total, it reached 102 police departments, fire departments and hospitals. This year its reach will double.

Berrien County Sheriff L. Paul Bailey said that it is his pleasure and honor to partner with the First Responders Children’s Foundation to ensure that children in the Benton Harbor Michigan area receive a special gift this Christmas season.

Bailey announced that the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the Boys and Girls Club’s of Benton Harbor and that approximately 60 children associated with the Boys and Girls Club’s of Benton Harbor will receive a special holiday gift on behalf of the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office and the First Responders Children’s Foundation. The presentation of the gifts will take place at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Fettig Youth Campus, located at 600 Nate Wells Dr., Benton Harbor.