SHREWSBURY, Mass. - Hasbro, the toy company known for everything from Transformers to the Furby, is donating hundreds of toys to replace those stolen from St. Anne’s Human Services’ Giving Tree.
Kerry Barbour, who organizes the giving tree for St. Anne’s, said Hasbro will donate toys for the 300 families who were looking for help from the Shrewsbury community this holiday.
According to JoAnn Keegan of St. Anne’s, hundreds of toys were stolen, and Shrewsbury Police estimated that the toys and gift cards taken were worth between $2,000 and $3,000.
“I don’t know why someone would take from children that are four or five years old,” Keegan said. “It’s sad.”
Hasbro representative Karen Davis said the Rhode Island-based company learned of the theft from an employee who lives in the area.
“When you see good people trying to help others and something terrible like this happens -- we’re happy to step in,” Davis said.
Hasbro will try to replace the stolen toys by Dec. 14.
Barbour, who has volunteered for St. Anne’s for 17 years, said she starts collecting for the giving tree program in January, and doesn’t stop until mid-December. “We collect toys all year long to fulfill children’s wishes,” she said.
This year’s worth of work was wiped out in a single night by whomever apparently stole every present collected and stored in the church’s storage shed, except for three bags of gifts.
“It felt like someone ripped my heart out. I was devastated. Who could be so cold that they would take from needy children?” Barbour said.
According to Shrewsbury Police, the shed on St. Anne’s Church property at 130 Boston Turnpike was broken into between 1:15 p.m. Dec. 3 and and 4 p.m. Dec. 4.
Toys stolen were collected for children, ages newborn to 13. Also stolen were gift cards from retailers such as Walmart and Target that parents could have used to buy presents for their teens, as well as food and other essentials. Police said the toys and cards are valued between $2,000-$3000.
“The gift cards are hard to replace,” Keegan said.
Gift cards and monetary donations can be dropped off at the church or mailed to St. Anne's Human Services,130 Boston Turnpike, Shrewsbury, MA 01545. St. Anne’s is still accepting new and unwrapped toy donations as well.
Police are requesting that anyone with information about the theft call Detective Michael R. McGinnis of the Shrewsbury Police Detective Bureau at 508-845-4681.