The Ocean City Police Department Christmas Food and Toy Drive distribution is right around the corner and the lobby of the Public Safety Building will once again be transformed into a scene from Santa’s workshop as the OCPD gears up to make the holiday season special for needy children and their families.

The Ocean City Police Department is asking for toy donations, as well as monetary donations, in order to provide gifts and food baskets to local families. Unwrapped, new toys may be dropped off at the Public Safety Building, located at 65th Street & Coastal Highway.

For those who wish to contribute monetary donations, an account for food baskets has been set up at the Bank of Ocean City (the account name is: Town of Ocean City, Ocean City Police Department DBA-Holiday Food and Toy Drive). While you may contribute donations to any Bank of Ocean City branch, we ask you not to bring food to the Department or the bank. You may also send your donations to “OCPD Christmas Toy Drive” at 6501 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, Maryland, 21842.

The Ocean City Police Department is accepting referrals of children or families that are in need of assistance. In order to participate, families must be Ocean City residents or individuals who work in Ocean City. “I am continuously amazed by the generosity of our community,” said OCPD Chief Bernadette A. DiPino. “Despite a very difficult economy, the businesses and residents of the Ocean City community continue to pull together to provide for those individuals who are struggling this year. It truly is what Christmas is all about.”

In addition to donations, the Ocean City Police Department is looking for volunteers. Those who volunteer will be assisting participants with the collection of toys and food on the day of the distribution. The Ocean City Police Department asks that all donations be made by Thursday, December 16, 2010. The distribution will take place on Saturday, December 18, promptly at 9 a.m.

The OCPD Public Affairs Office will begin taking names of volunteers and participants on November 29, 2010. To submit a donation, volunteer, or refer a family in need, please contact Public Affairs Officer Michael Levyor Public Affairs Specialist Jessica Waters at 410.723.6665.