The 26th Annual Cape Cod Stuff-A-Bus collected a remarkable 25,006 toys for the local Cape Cod chapter of Toys For Tots.
Toys For Tots collects new, unwrapped toys every year between October and December, and distributes them as Christmas gifts to needy children in our local community.
Last year, over 33,000 children on Cape Cod relied on gifts provided by Toys For Tots.
Founded in 1996, Cape Cod Stuff-A-Bus is an annual event organized by 106 WCOD, Cool 102, and 95 WXTK.
The 26th Annual Cape Cod Stuff-A-Bus kicked off on Friday, December 3, 2021 at 6 am, hosted by 106 WCOD programming director and host of "Wake Up Cape Cod" Kevin Matthews.
"Each year," Matthews shares, "our Stuff-A-Bus reminds me of how lucky we should all feel to live in a community that cares so much about each other."
"That's where the phrase 'Cape Codders Helping Cape Codders' came about," Matthews continues, explaining the origin of the phrase he coined, "and it continues every year."
The generosity of Cape Codders is at the heart of our Toys For Tots chapter, as well.
Tim Harrington, Toys for Tots Coordinator on Cape Cod, has been involved with Toys For Tots for nearly thirty years.
"The reason why I do it," Harrington reveals, "is to give back to where I grew up."
"The community and the businesses are the heart of what's going on."
"Most of the people who are donating are the people in need themselves. That's why it's so special."
According to Harrington, Cape Cod Stuff-A-Bus is about one thing: the children.
"Kids are the Cape's future."
Over the course of three days, hundreds of Cape Cod residents and organizations dropped by the event's signature yellow school bus, provided by Five Star Bus.
This year's event, which ended Sunday, December 5, featured visits from The Fire & Iron Motorcycle Club, Defiant Crew, Outlaw Motorcycle Club, We Can 4 A Cause, and more.
Cape Cod Five, a proud sponsor of the Cape Cod Stuff-A-Bus for many years, also made an appearance over the weekend. Bert Talerman, Co-President of Cape Cod Five, stopped by the bus on Sunday to donate stockings filled with toys for Cape Cod children in need.
"The Cape comes together to help our neighbors who, you know, maybe they wouldn't have something around the holidays," Talerman says.
"It's one of the things that makes our community special... everybody coming together to help out. That's what it’s all about."
Among the highlights of Cape Cod Stuff-A-Bus is the annual Public Safety Parade on Sunday afternoon.
This year, Cape Cod Police and Fire Departments led the Public Safety Parade down Route 132 past the Stuff-A-Bus parked outside of the Cape Cod Mall.
Santa waved merrily from atop the Cape Cod SWAT vehicle as Toys For Tots volunteers and Stuff-A-Bus donors lined the side of the street, cheering on our first responders.
Together, our Cape Cod Police and Fire Departments raised 16,554 toys for Toys For Tots.
Barnstable Police Department once again took home the trophy for most toys raised (4,056), followed by Provincetown Police Department in second (2,214), and Yarmouth Fire Department in third (2,063).
Congratulations, and thank you!
Toys For Tots is still accepting donations for the 2021 season. Visit 106wcod.com/stuffabus to donate online now.