Sheriff’s Office toy drive collects nearly 2,500 gifts

Personnel made ‘official delivery’ on Dec. 15 to offices of 12th Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program

Toys abound beneath the holiday tree in the lobby of the Sheriff’s Office headquarters on Cattleridge Boulevard. Contributed photo

During its Seventh Annual Holiday Toy Drive, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Department collected almost 2,500 gifts, including gift cards totaling $2,585, Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman has announced.

The toy drive took place from Dec. 1 through Dec. 13.

In 2022, the toy drive collected 2,468 gifts, including $12,055 in gift cards, the agency reported.

This year, Sheriff’s Office employees, representatives of local businesses, and members of the public brought or shipped 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, as well as young people served by Teen Court of Sarasota and All Star Children’s Foundation, a news release noted. The gifts will go to children and youth ranging from newborns to 18 years of age who reside in Sarasota, Manatee or Desoto counties, the release added.

On Dec. 15, Sheriff’s Office personnel made the official delivery to the GAL offices, the release said. Over the next several days, guardians were to select individual gifts for children in their care, the release added.

“Any opportunity to collect and deliver thousands of gifts for children in our area is considered a great day at SCSO!” said Sheriff Hoffman in the release. “The generosity of this community never ceases to amaze us. We are grateful for the enthusiasm and kindness of Sarasota citizens every year!”

“A significant contribution from US Health Advisors once again supported this year’s initiative,” the release pointed out. “We thank them and also appreciate the continued support of the Sarasota Memorial Hospital Public Safety Department and Sam’s Club on Cattleman,” the release said.