NEW CANAAN — New Canaan police are giving back this holiday season. For the second year in a row, the New Canaan Police Union is hosting a toy, coat and food drive to benefit New Canaan Human Services.

On Dec. 23 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the New Canaan Police union will be collecting unopened toys, lightly worn coats and nonperishable goods at the New Canaan Playhouse. All collected items will be brought to The Vine Cottage of New Canaan.

The Vine Cottage houses New Canaan’s Human Services department which provides social services to people throughout New Canaan, including assistance with food, paying bills and helping people sign up for state programs.

Sgt. Joseph Farenga said the union doesn’t have a collection goal in mind other than to help others and “put smiles on their faces.” He added the union was hoping to fill a department SUV with donations, something they accomplished last year.

“It went really well,” he said of last year’s drive. “It was a good response from the community and we were able to bring an SUV of goods to Vine Cottage.”

More Information

Chip In

Donations can be brought to the New Canaan Playhouse at 89 Elm St. on Saturday, Dec. 23 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Carol McDonald, the department’s director of health and human services, said the toys will go toward their Secret santa program. The rest of the donated good will be given out as need appears with some food going to the town food pantry.

“We have a whole client base in the community of people who need assistance,” she said. “Those gifts go to those clients.”

McDonald said the goods from the drive assist people in the community during an important time of year.

“We’re so grateful to the police department,” she said. “”It gives an added boost to children in the community before the holidays. It’s wonderful.”

Farenga said the department is compelled to help the town where they work.

“We knew there was a need within our own community,” he said. “We thought we should do something to give back and further help community of New Canaan.”

ekayata@hearstmediact.com; @erin_kayata