Blue gives back
Operation sleigh ride: NYPD delivers gifts across NYC
BY DEAN MOSES
New York City’s fi nest took the
reins from Santa Claus this
Christmas week to bring toys
and holiday cheer during their sleigh
ride throughout the fi ve boroughs.
While Father Christmas may have
his red sleigh with reindeer, the NYPD
had their sirens and a fl eet of trucks
and motorcycles fi lled with toys to
bring joy to children in need since Dec.
17. On their very last day of distributing
gifts, the NYPD had a very special
helper during their fi nal journey, a little
boy named Jefferson.
When Jefferson was two years old in
his hometown in Ecuador, he placed
his hand into a cookie crusher, resulting
in his arm being amputated. Now
at seven years old, Jefferson’s family
resides in Queens. A good Samaritan
discovered the little boy’s plight and
donated money so that he could be fi tted
for a prosthetic arm. Earlier this
month, he received his new arm and
garnered support from the NYPD.
Jefferson shared that he dreams
of becoming a police offi cer when he
grows up—so the NYPD deputized
him with a badge and made him the
top cop in their festive effort to bring
holiday cheer to children throughout
the city, which includes delivering up
to 4,500 toys in one day.
“Today is our third day of operation
sleigh ride. It’s Chief Maddrey’s of
Community Affairs signature piece. It’s
how we bring cheer and toys out to the
communities throughout the city that
are in need,” said Inspector Max Tolentino,
the Executive Offi cer of Community
Tolentino shared his awe of this project
and the sight of pure joy on all of
the children’s faces when they see the
offi cers bringing sacks of gifts, which
were donated by the New York City Police
Foundation, First Responders Children’s
Foundation, and basic donations
from everyday people.
“You have to see the faces of some of
the kids that are out there. They are absolutely
impressed, and they absolutely
enjoy the moment, and so do we. At the
end of the day, it is just about the spirit
of the holiday and what better way
than to go to a neighborhood where a
kid has an opportunity to get a toy for
Christmas,” Tolentino said.
Taking fl ight at JFK airport on Dec.
20, a convoy of police vehicles stocked
up on gifts and prepared to distribute
it for the fi nal day of operation sleigh
ride, starting with 306 West 128th
Street in Harlem where costumed superheroes
jumped out of the trucks to
The NYPD delivered toys to various
communities throughout New York
City for Operation Sleigh Ride.
surprise the children.
Captain America, Black Panther,
Shazam, the Incredible Hulk and more
met with the community, where they
all cheered the NYPD as the toys were
dispersed. Spider-Man even climbed
atop the roof of a NYPD truck as they
rode to their next delivery location in
“The NYPD brought the whole community
together! Look at the people
coming out! NYPD is the best, and I
want to thank Chief Maddrey! Look at
Spiderman,” Jacqui said, a local Harlem
resident as she watched the event
unfold, “People can’t afford this today.
It’s very hard to go to the store to buy
gifts. NYPD is stepping it up. They
know the community needs toys.”
On the fi nal day of distribution, the
NYPD estimated about 75,000 toys
will have been distributed to children
throughout New York City.
16 December 23, 2021 Schneps Media