PAL toy, food drive brings smiles to those in need

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What started out as a small labor of love has grown into a full-blown holiday mission for members of the Norristown Police Athletic League. (WPVI)

What started out as a small labor of love has grown into a full-blown holiday mission for members of the Norristown Police Athletic League.

Santa left the sleigh in the North Pole Thursday morning. Transportation was a flatbed truck carrying donations of food and toys. It arrived to the Salvation Army in Norristown by police escort.

Waiting children got an early Christmas delivery from Old Saint Nick.

This was all part of the 19th Annual Law Enforcement Food Drive.

In 2007 the drive was renamed for Norristown Police Department Lieutenant Patty Simons who had always poured her heart and soul into the effort.

Montgomery County Sheriff Russell Bono says, "It's an opportunity to help the needy, but also to keep her memory alive."

The Salvation Army band helped welcome in the donations, collected and now unloaded by members of 20 police departments in Montgomery County.

Drive co-chair Carol Velez explains, "The police want to give back to the community. They see the families that struggle. And they see the people who are walking the streets that need a place to be warm and eat."

Since the end of October, law enforcement have been gathering goods from schools, businesses, and community members.

The final tally: 10 tons of non-perishable food, the bulk of which is going to this Salvation Army.

Adrianna Lochetto, who is currently receiving aid from the Salvation Army, tells us, "It's been kind of rough. You know, staying here at the Salvation Army now. So, it's a big help for my family."

The food and toys will go to families this season, but will also go to replenish supplies for next year. Those on the receiving end of the donations are so very grateful.

Nasim Lochetto was given a skateboard. The excited little boy said, "I'm gonna ride on it!"

But it's a good thing Santa's elves were police officers today. One of whom quickly provided the 5-year-old with a helmet to go along with his new gift.

Nasim responded to the additional gift, saying, "This fit me!"

Related Topics:
societypa. newspolicesalvation armytoysfood driveNorristown Borough

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