First Stuff-A-Cruiser back to school event meets community need in Southington

First Stuff-A-Cruiser back to school event meets community need in Southington

SOUTHINGTON — Looming clouds and a forecast of rain Saturday did not stop Southington police from kicking off the first annual “Stuff a Cruiser” back-to-school supplies drive.

Officers Chad Butler and Tom Atterrato, event coordinators, said while there have been many “Stuff a Cruiser events” in the past, this is the first year a donation drive was held for back to school supplies. 

“(Stuff a Cruiser) has been going on for several years,” said Atterrato. “So we decided to do it before school to help the kids,”

Atterrato said donations of clothes were also accepted. He said some parents in the community might not have enough money to get new clothes for the school year.

Several officers stood outside Target handing out lists of needed supplies and accepting donations. Atterrato said all of the donations will go to Southington Community Services, which distributes them to families.

“I think it’s awesome,” said Erica Procko, a Plainville resident who donated items.  

Procko said when she drove into the Target parking lot, she saw the sign and asked for a list. She purchased and donated highlighters, notebooks and socks.

“There are families that could use some extra help,” Procko said. “So I thought it would be good to help and donate.” 

Atterrato said the idea of a back to school donation drive came after last year’s Christmas “Stuff a Cruiser” event. A donation drive that Butler said was the most successful year to date.

“It’s great to give to kids during the holidays but there are kids who are in need of assistance, families in need of assistance throughout the year,” Butler said.

Atterrato hopes to make the back to school donation drive an annual event.

“It seems the more people hear about these events, the more people come out and provide support,”  Atterrato said. 

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