Employees of PennDOT's Chester County Maintenance Office this year will celebrate 10-years of giving back to the community, according to a press release.The PennDOT County Assistance Program (PennCAP) was started in 1999 as a way for PennDOT employees to make sure that local families and children in need have a special holiday season.

This year's 10th annual PennDOT Chester County Toy Drive is directed by PennDOT Chester County maintenance employees with the support and cooperation of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

"For the past 10 years we have been able to give back to the community by collecting toys that to help make every holiday season happy for needy children in Chester County," PennDOT Chester County Maintenance Manager Bob Laird said. "PennDOT is very fortunate to have employees who care deeply enough about those less fortunate and who volunteer their time to put smiles on the faces of children and have them enjoy a very happy holiday season."

Over the last 10 years, PennDOT employees have collected and distributed $41,600 worth of toys and 15,000 pounds of food items to local charitable organizations.

PennCAP will hold its annual Toy Drive on Friday, November 28 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the K Mart in Phoenixville. Employees will be stationed at K Mart to collect toys, money, and gift certificates. The staff will donate all toys collected at the upcoming drive to the Coatesville Salvation Army, West Chester Salvation Army, Phoenixville Area Community Services and the Oxford Neighborhood Center.

"While members of my staff do an outstanding job with our community program, I thank all the citizens who have donated toys over the years, including our PennDOT employees in Chester County and King of Prussia District Office who have contributed to our drive. I would also like to thank our local American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employee (A.F.S.C.M.E) unions for their monetary contributions," Laird said.

Laird praised the efforts of PennDOT equipment operators George Lambert and Tyrone Quail who co-chaire the drive.

"We are extremely fortunate to have employees who are committed to giving back to the people of Chester County to let them know that PennDOT cares about those in need," Laird said.

According to Quail, PennDOT employees started this program a decade ago because they wanted to help communities throughout the county and ensure that all children and people who were struggling financially during the holiday season would have a happy holiday season.

PennDOT employees take front-end loaders to the collection drives to help draw attention to the program. "We let the kids sit in the equipment and answer any questions they might have about it or about PennDOT," Quail said.

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