There are many groups in New Bedford helping to spread Christmas Joy.

Jerry Pinto and his large group of volunteers have been doing it for years in the form of the Fill the Bus Toy Drive.

Pinto started the toy drive some 30 years ago, hoping to bring joy to needy families and their children. Police officers in Dartmouth, Fairhaven, and Acushnet are among the volunteers.

Pinto was a bit under the weather this weekend, so we talked with one of his volunteers, Dartmouth Police Detective Kyle Costa, on Townsquare Sunday. Det. Costa and other members of the Dartmouth Police Department have been involved for about five years.

"It's a tremendous community effort," Costa said. "Generally speaking, we are looking for people to donate brand new toys. We will accept gently-used toys, because getting something is better than getting nothing, but our goal is to collect new toys."

On Saturday, December 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., shoppers at Target in Dartmouth can bring their toy donations to a yellow school bus parked outside the store. Shoppers at the Walmart in Dartmouth can also made their toy donations at the school bus in the Walmart parking lot, also from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Because of a scheduling issue, the Fairhaven toy drive has been moved to Sunday, December 11 at the Walmart in that town. The yellow school bus will be open for donations from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

After the toys are collected, they are distributed to needy families.

Costa said that in Dartmouth, volunteers rely on the town's Youth Advocate or the School Department to identify those families in need.

Of course, the Fill the Bus Toy Drive couldn't happen without Tremblay Bus Company, because they provide the buses to be filled.

The complete interview with Dartmouth Detective Kyle Costa can be heard here:

Townsquare Sunday is a weekly public affairs program heard every Sunday morning at 6 a.m. on 1420 AM and 99.5 FM.

The program highlights individuals and organizations seeking to make Greater New Bedford a better place to live and work.

If you would like your organization featured on Townsquare Sunday, please e-mail the host at

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