"I basically thought we could do some sort of toy drive," Mena said.
Mena got in touch with the United States Marine Corps' annual "Toys for Tots" campaign.
The Marines' started the "Toys for Tots" mission back in 1947, but this is the first time there is an organized effort by the Weehawken Police Department to join in the cause.
"We wanted to be able to help the community, especially at this time of year," said Mena, who organized the Weehawken Police's efforts that began last week.
The police set up drop-off locations at police headquarters inside Town Hall and the Weehawken Volunteer First Aid Squad on Highwood Avenue. They will keep taking donations through Dec. 18.
"There are a lot of kids out there who are less fortunate and don't have a chance to celebrate the holidays. When I brought the idea up to the guys, everyone was in support of it."
Mena contacted the North Jersey chapter for the "Toys for Tots" campaign in Wayne and they supplied all the necessary promotional posters, which he distributed and posted throughout the township.
Continues through Dec. 18 at two locations
The campaign asks for only brand new, unwrapped toys because second-hand toys make the recipients feel like second-class citizens.
According to the "Toys for Tots" campaign fliers, almost 20 percent of all American children live in poverty.
"The objective of the shiny new toy includes building and restoring self-esteem by eliminating the second class citizen syndrome that is associated with second-hand toys," the campaign flier states.
The Weehawken Police PBA 15's Toy Drive will continue through Monday, Dec. 18.
"We started receiving toys on Dec. 1 and the response has been tremendous," Mena said. "The stores and businesses where we've put up posters said they would also hold toys for us as well. The members of the department have been contributing as well."
Although "Toys for Tots" encourages brand new toy donations as opposed to monetary contributions, they will accept money through their Web site, which is www.toysfortots.org.
"Of course, every little bit helps," Mena said. "Everyone has their own needs and families, but this is something we all share. We all want to see children happy at Christmas."
Mena hope the toy drive becomes an annual occurrence at the police department.
"I started late this year, so there was little time to get it going," Mena said. "I hope to advertise it more and let more people know in the future. It's a good feeling that we were able to do it this year."
Deputy Police Chief Tom McGorty applauded Mena's efforts.
"There were no hesitations from us," McGorty said. "When we spoke with Brian and heard how sincere he was in doing it, we were all for it. It's a great community thing that they're doing and it reflects well on our guys. It shows that they are community oriented."
Donations are asked for boys and girls, infants to 15-year-olds. The toys should be new and unwrapped. The two drop-off locations are the Weehawken Police Department Headquarters, located in Town Hall at 400 Park Ave., (201) 863-7800, and at the Weehawken Volunteer First Aid Squad, 201 Highwood Ave., (201) 863-6611. The campaign asks for only brand new, unwrapped toys because second-hand toys make the recipients feel like second-class citizens.