The OCPD Christmas Needy Drive proved to be a blessing to many local families. With a
volunteer crew of more than 60 people, Chief Bernadette DiPino and her staff tended to more than 85 families, including almost 200 children, this past Saturday at the Public Safety Building.
The OCPD Christmas Needy Drive was started by Chief DiPino’s grandfather in the Baltimore Police Department many years ago. The tradition was continued by her father in Baltimore, and later by Chief DiPino in Ocean City. This year is the 16th year for the OCPD Christmas Needy Drive and each year the event has grown.
The OCPD Christmas Needy Drive volunteers not only helped families load toys and boxes of food for the holidays, but also assisted in transportation for some people who otherwise would have had to take the bus. Chief DiPino was very pleased with the event. “Every year I worry about whether or not we will have enough donated toys and food to give the families,” said Chief DiPino. “But every year the Ocean City community comes together to provide for those who are less fortunate.”
Several Ocean City businesses and organizations contributed to the success of this year’s
needy drive. On Wednesday, December 6, 2011, the Ocean City Elks Lodge and Ladies Auxiliary donated over $4,000. Also making large contributions were the Delmarva Condominium Managers Association (DCMA), who stopped by the Public Safety Building with several bags of toys and a donation of $1,000, Atlantic Physical Therapy who donated 20 bicycles, the Ocean City Parrottheads “Hots for Tots” Chili Cookoff and Councilman Brent Ashley who donated $1,000.
Additional community donations came from The Greene Turtle, Fager’s Island, Caine Woods Association, the American Legion, Long and Foster, Ocean City/Berlin Optimist, Eastern Shore Photographers, Ocean City
Sister City, the Marine Corps League, the Ocean City Hibernians, and several independent community members.
“Without the generosity of Ocean City businesses and residents, this needy drive would not be possible,” said Chief DiPino. “It is an example of what makes our community so special and it is truly what Christmas is all about.”