Wesleyan Public Safety, Middletown Fire Stuff a Cruiser, Raise Money for Those in Need

Mike MavredakisDecember 22, 20232min
1200x660 PSafe stuff a cruiser

Wesleyan’s Public Safety collected over $2,000 worth of donations and a full cruiser of toys at the sixth annual week-long Holiday Toy Drive.

The toys and proceeds were delivered to eight families in need, including 29 children, on Dec. 17. Public Safety collaborated with the Middletown Fire Department and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) to sponsor the drive.

“The Wesleyan Community has been so generous during our Stuff-a-Cruiser event, we are humbled by the outpouring of support we have received from the students and staff on campus,” a representative from Public Safety said.

“Without the students, support from the department, and university, I couldn’t do it,” Burdick said. “The students coordinate all the scheduling as far as getting the students to volunteer at the table and help with the hours to make sure that it’s always covered.”

The students were especially crucial on wrapping day. Several members of Public Safety and Middletown Fire planned to wrap the collected gifts for the families, but a fire broke out in the city that night. With many of the firefighters working to quell the fire, a group of about 10 students, including some from Wesleyan’s athletic teams, stepped up in their place to get the job done. “We were very lucky… very thankful for them being there,” said David Ribnicky, Middletown Firefighter.

Matthew Halas ’24 has been involved in the drive for three years now, but this year was the first time he was the student in charge of running it—working with Assistant Director of Public Safety Kathy Burdick. He said he got involved to give back to the community after some community members helped guide him through his first years at Wesleyan.

Bon Appetit Management Co. provided free coffee vouchers to donators and Avella’s on Willams Street donated five gift certificates that were given away in daily drawings.

“We appreciate [Wesleyan’s] continued involvement and we look forward to doing it again next year,” Ribnicky said.