The 12th annual Roop’s Toy Drop Off will be held Saturday, Dec. 2 from noon to 5 p.m. and will feature local firefighters and Santa Claus.
The event benefits People In Need’s Delaware Christmas Program and is held in the parking area of Roop’s by the city lot in the first block of East William Street.
Al Roop, former owner of Roop’s Bar, said he helped start the event to continue a tradition from his childhood.
“When I was a kid, I’d go with my mom to buy a few toys and take them to the local firehouse; that was the drop off spot at Christmas,” Roop said. “I always loved finding a firetruck under the tree. I was lucky. Hopefully, someone will have a Christmas memory like mine and the parents can feel the joy of watching their kids open gifts.”
Donated items will be distributed by People In Need. Executive Director Kevin Crowley said gifts, food, and coats will be given to more than 1,000 children and almost 900 adults. He said PIN will deliver items to 276 seniors or disabled housebound residents and will provide toys and food to families through the Juvenile Court, Helpline, and Family Promise.
Crowley said the event is crucial for PIN’s holiday programs.
“With all that Al and (Roop’s co-owner) Josh Moore, and all the folks at Roop Brother’s do for People In Need, Inc. we would never be able to serve that many people,” Crowley said. “(Al Roop) is a sweet soul who only wants to make Christmas brighter for those who need it most.”
City of Delaware Fire Chief John Donahue said the event is a Delaware tradition.
“This has become a staple event in our City,” Donahue said. “We are proud to partner with Roop’s to support our community and help make this a happy and Merry Christmas.”
”I have fond memories of Christmas and the fire department. I’m glad our firemen have helped me receive the toys at Roop Brothers for 12 years now,” Roop said. “Thanks to our Delaware businesses for donating such wonderful checks to us.“
Contact Glenn Battishill at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.