DANVERS (CBS) – Take this, you Grinch who ripped off a “Toys for Tots” program in Danvers. People are responding to the robbery with great generosity, and donations are growing.

“I just wanted to replace some of what you lost,” says Therese, who came all the way from Brighton to drop off bag after bag of toys at the Danvers Fire Dept. Headquarters. “I appreciate what you guys do,” she says.

She and many others have stepped up after learning that someone broke into a storage pod and stole boxes full of toys meant for needy kids. Bert Russell, a former Police officer, has worked with Toys for Tots in Danvers for 40 years. “We’re getting a great response. So far this morning, in the last two hours, I’ve gotten $550 in checks made out for Toys for Tots,” he says.

Since the thefts the donation boxes have been more than filling up as a steady stream of givers has answered the call. The three boxes at the Danvers Fire Dept. were empty in the morning, but by noon, they overflowed.

“I wouldn’t want any child to go without having something from Santa,” says Kathy, who dropped off several toys. And that’s just what Bert Russell loves to hear. “When I grew up, I stood in a food pantry line myself as a kid, my parents didn’t have anything. I went in the Marine Corps and I swore that if I came through it, when I come back, I’m going to serve the public,” he says. That’s what he, and so many others are doing. “I know they’re going to come through. Danvers always comes through,” says Russell.

And the need is great. Last year the program in Essex County collected about 12,000 toys, so kids would have a happy holiday.

In Danvers you can drop off toys at the Fire Dept. HQ and at the Police station.

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