Communities in Need: Tri-City Toy Drive Plans to Help Hundreds of Families


DOVER — Dover radio stations 98.1 WTSN and 98.7 WBYY “The Bay” are helping to make the holiday’s a little bit brighter for area families by teaming up with the tri-city fire departments and Hilltop Chevrolet in Somersworth in support their annual toy drive.

The Rochester, Somersworth, and Dover toy banks are working together this year to distribute toys to over 1,500 kids throughout their communities, and just like in years past, they’re asking for donations of unwrapped toys, gift cards, and cash donations.

“The Dover Toy Bank has been around for over 40 years, but the three departments working together has been in the making for decades,” said Dover firefighter Jen Myers. “We’ve seen a consistent need every year, and this year, we are expecting to help out over 300 families and 750 kids.”

Rochester firefighter Paul Haggenmiller said his department expects to give out toys to over 400 children, while Somersworth firefighter Colby Walker said his community distributes toys to approximately 300-350 kids. If a family is in need, he said the process to apply is as simple as going to your local fire department.

“You can go to an area fire department and fill out an application with the child’s wishes, and just bring a proof of residency,” he said. “We’ll never run out of toys because if we need more, we reach out to other fire departments and share resources to get more toys.”

Ron Currier of Hilltop Chevrolet said his dealership has been partners with Somersworth for many years, and since their market extends into Rochester and Dover, he wanted to do more this year by becoming a main drop off location for all three departments.

“It makes sense that we can give back and help out our hard working fire departments,” he said. “There’s always a need for underprivileged families around the holidays, so we need to give back a little to those that have little.”

You can drop off unwrapped, new toys to Hilltop Chevrolet on Route 108 in Somersworth, or any of the Rochester, Dover, and Somersworth fire stations. Myers said they’re accepting toys for kids of all ages, but are in special need of toys for kids aged 10-14.

“For that age group, the perfect toys for girls are jewelry — making kits and arts and crafts,” Myers said. “For boys you can get Legos, science projects kits, and remote controlled cars. We’ll always take gift cards that we give them so they can go shopping themselves.”

For a complete list of items that the departments are looking for, go to Donations will be accepted through the end of next week. Both 98.1 WTSN and 98.7 The Bay will be broadcasting live Wednesday, Dec. 13 from 4-6 p.m. from Hilltop Chevrolet.

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