UCPD drive collects 700 toys and books for kids in need

A new initiative by UC Berkeley police, Community United By Service, has begun making a difference for children in need. The UC Police Department’s toy drive received about 700 toys and books donated by 14 groups on campus. The gifts will soon be distributed to children who live in University Village, a family housing complex for Berkeley students, and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland.

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Chief Margo Bennett and a student from the optometry school, who donated many items to the toy drive, admire the mound of books and toys.

As part of the drive, the department is collaborating with University Village to set up a lending library, which will be stocked with donated books.

UCPD Capt. Alex Yao says he’s inspired by the campus’s dedication to supporting the greater community. “We are touched by the level of generosity, commitment and devotion [the campus] has shown to the welfare of our next generation,” he says.

Yao says that needy kids receive donations during the holidays, but in the off-season, donations tend to dry up. That’s why this toy and book drive is set to take place every year in late spring. To see photos of the donations and drop-offs, visit the UCPD’s Facebook page.