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Santa Squad switches gears for Ukraine

The Greater Pittston Santa Squad is now collecting items for Ukrainian soldiers and refugees.

PITTSTON, Pa. — Volunteers in Luzerne County who usually collect toys for children in need during Christmas are now changing things up.

"We couldn't sit by and do nothing. We knew people needed help, and it's like I said, it's what we do," explained Tony Marranca of Pittston when asked about collecting donations for Ukrainian soldiers and refugees.

Usually, this is the off-season for his organization, the Greater Pittston Santa Squad, which collects toys for children in need over the holidays.

"Every Christmas, where we helped, I think 1,200 kids last year, hoping to branch into food this year, but pretty much wherever needed around Christmas time, we pop up," he added.

What's he's collecting now for area churches to send to Ukraine and Poland is a lot different than Legos and bicycles.

"It's a little scary to hold Neosporin or a tourniquet or crutches that you know may end up in a soldier's hands a couple of weeks from now. It's a lot to take in," said Marranca.

His office at Done Right Carpet & Flooring in Pittston is filled with bags of clothing, medical supplies, food, sleeping bags, diapers, and more.

"We'll take care of it. We have a tremendous outpouring of support. So I think after four years, people trust us to do the right thing," said Marranca.

Marranca will continue to accept donations at his store in Pittston on Tuesday from noon to 5 p.m. He will put a lot of the clothes in storage for now and give the food, medical supplies, bedding, and blankets to churches sending shipments abroad on Wednesday.

Just a reminder of some of the donations needed for the children of Ukraine

Posted by Greater Pittston Santa Squad on Saturday, March 12, 2022

See more videos on our area's connection to the Crisis in Ukraine.

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