Sheriff’s Office launching holiday toy drive for children who have been victims of abuse and neglect

Toys and gift cards will be accepted through Dec. 15 at the office’s Cattleridge Boulevard headquarters in Sarasota

Image courtesy Sheriff’s Office

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is hosting a holiday toy drive that will benefit the 12th Judicial Circuit of Florida’s Guardian ad Litem program, Sheriff Tom Knight has announced.

More than 1,500 children from throughout Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties have been removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect, a news release points out. Because of their situations, each has been appointed a Guardian ad Litem, the release adds.

Image courtesy Sheriff’s Office

As the children range from infants to 18-year-olds, and they have varying personal needs, the Sheriff’s Office has chosen to focus the holiday initiative solely on toys and gift cards, the release points out. The public is being asked to refrain from donating clothing or stuffed animals and to make sure all contributions are new and unwrapped, the release says.

The initiative begins Friday, Dec. 1, and will continue through Friday, Dec. 15. People may deliver donations to the agency’s headquarters, located at 6010 Cattleridge Blvd. in Sarasota, every day between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

“Although our personnel give back every day throughout the year, this is a special time for us to really get involved,” said Knight in the release. “Now that we are in our new headquarters with improved public access and a lobby to officially call our own, we are very pleased to launch this initiative and really make this a special holiday for deserving children in our community.”