Subscribe Now

The annual North Shore and Merrimack Valley Holiday Toy Drive is back. For close to 30 years, state Sen. Bruce Tarr and a team of partners have organized this annual event to collect toys and donations to help all families have a joyful holiday season. This year’s drive is expected to be bigger and better than ever with more drop-off locations than ever before and a new media partner, Costa Eagle Media, which operates regional radio stations Valley 98.9 FM and Power 102.9 FM and 800 AM.

“Each and every year the toy drive has highlighted just how generous and caring our neighbors on the North Shore and in the Merrimack Valley are,” Tarr says, “and I am thrilled that this important tradition is coming back revitalized, re-energized, and ready to do the work of making the holidays better for the kids who need us to make a difference in their lives.” 

Last year, the toy drive had its biggest year yet collecting more than $20,000 in donations and more than 1,000 toys. This year, organizers hope to top those totals.

Here’s how it works: Toys and gift cards (and is some spots food, cash, or animal supplies) will be collected at 15 locations throughout the region. The donations made at each location will benefit a local organization. Throughout the first week of December, a pickup event will take place at each collection site, complete with entertainment, live performances, food, and appearances from local officials. Each event will be broadcast live on Costa Eagle Media’s stations.

“We have witnessed firsthand the positive impact this drive has on our local community, and it fills our hearts with joy to contribute to such a meaningful effort,” says Costa Eagle Media founder and CEO Patrick Costa.

To participate, drop off a donation at any of the sites below, or visit for the live broadcast event. For more information visit

Friday, December 1

7 a.m.: Capitol Diner, 431 Union Street, Lynn, to benefit LifeScene Family & Children Services
12 p.m.: Aubuchon Hardware, 50 Enon Street, Beverly, to benefit Beverly Bootstraps

Monday, December 4

1:30 p.m.: China Blossom, 946 Osgood Street, North Andover, to benefit The United Way of Merrimack Valley
3:30 p.m.: Green Evolution at Salvatore’s, 354 Merrimack Street, Lawrence, to benefit Partners in Child Development

Tuesday, December 5

9 a.m.: Flint Public Library, Middleton 1 South Main Street, Middleton, to benefit Neighbors in Need
11 a.m.: Essex County Co-Op, 146 South Main Street, Topsfield, to benefit Tri Town Council and New England Equine Rescue – North
1 p.m.: Brookline Bank, 31 Market Street, Ipswich, to benefit YMCA of the Northshore, Ipswich and Ipswich Caring
3 p.m.: Woodman’s of Essex, 119 Main Street, Essex, to benefit Cape Ann Kids Holiday Fund

Wednesday, December 6

9 a.m.: Institution for Savings at Salem State University, Viking Café, 73 Loring Avenue, Salem, to benefit Bates Elementary School
11 a.m.: Lyon-Waugh Auto Group, 7 Centennial Drive, Peabody, to benefit Cape Ann Kids Holiday Fund
1 p.m.: Ipswich Bay Advisors, 150 Andover Street #2, Danvers, to benefit Danvers YMCA and Danvers Food Pantry
3 p.m.: Beauport Ambulance Services, 19 Pond Road, Gloucester, to benefit Cape Ann Kids Holiday Fund

Thursday, December 7

10 a.m.: Boys and Girls Club of Lower Merrimack Valley, 18 Maple Street, Salisbury, to benefit Boys and Girls Club of Lower Merrimack Valley
12 p.m.: Newburyport Bank, 63 State Street, Newburyport, to benefit Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center
4:30 p.m.: Cape Ann Savings Bank, 109 Main Street, Gloucester, to benefit Cape Ann Kids Holiday Fund

For more information, visit