2,468 gifts collected by Sheriff’s Office during annual Holiday Toy Drive

Children and youth served by 12th Judicial Circuit’s Guardian Ad Litem Program, Teen Court and All-Star Children’s Foundation to receive items

From Dec. 1 through Dec. 14, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office collected 2,468 gifts, including $12,055 in gift cards, for its sixth annual Holiday Toy Drive, the agency announced on Dec. 20.

Over the two-week period, employees, representatives of local businesses and individuals brought toys and gift cards to the agency’s headquarters on Cattleridge Boulevard in Sarasota to benefit children enrolled in the 12th Judicial Circuit’s Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) program, plus young people served by Teen Court and the All-Star Children’s Foundation, a news release explains. The latter two organizations were new partners this year in the initiative, the release notes.

Gifts were selected for children and youth ranging in age from newborns to 18 who reside in Sarasota, Manatee and Desoto counties, the release continues.

Last year, the Sheriff’s Office collected 3,835 gifts, including $12,005 in gift cards, it reported at that time.

On Dec. 15, Teen Court and the All-Star Children’s Foundation sent representatives to the Sheriff’s Office Headquarters to gather the gifts needed for the children they serve, the release notes. Then, on Friday, Dec. 16, Sheriff’s Office personnel made the official delivery to the GAL offices. “Over the next several days, guardians will select individual gifts for children in their care,” the release adds.

“It is always a highlight of the holiday season to collect and deliver thousands of gifts for deserving children in need,” said Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman in the release. “We are overwhelmed yearly by the generosity of our employees and the entire Sarasota community.”

“Significant contributions from US Health Advisors GP Region and Moss Construction supported this year’s initiative,” the release points out. The agency also offered special thanks to the Sarasota Memorial Hospital Public Safety Department and Sam’s Club Cattlemen “for their support.”