Sheriff’s Office’s 2021 toy drive for children enrolled in Guardian Ad Litem program exceeds 2020 contributions

3,835 gifts brought to Sheriff’s Office headquarters in December 2021

This is a view of the Christmas tree and gifts in the Sheriff’s Office’s headquarters lobby in December. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office

Thanks to community support, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office set another new record for toys and gift cards it received for its 2021 toy drive to benefit children enrolled in the 12th Judicial Circuit’s Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) program, the agency announced.

In 2020, the Sheriff’s Office donated 3,608 toys, including $11,340 in gift cards, to the program, the agency reported. In 2021, the Sheriff’s Office collected 3,835 gifts, including $12,005 in gift cards.

From Dec. 1 through Dec. 12, a news release pointed out, employees, representatives of local businesses, and residents brought toys and gift cards to the Sheriff’s Office’s headquarters on Cattleridge Boulevard in Sarasota. The items had been selected for children ranging from infancy to age 18 who reside in Sarasota, Manatee, or Desoto counties and who had been removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect.

Sheriff’s Office personnel delivered the 2021 donations to the Guardian Ad Litem offices in Sarasota before Christmas, the release added. There, guardians were able to select individual gifts for children in their care.

More gifts line a corridor in the agency’s headquarters. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office

“After another tough year, we are delighted to deliver even more gifts to deserving children in our community,” said Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman in the release. “It’s amazing to see how this initiative has grown each year, which would not be possible without the continued support of citizens and employees alike.”

The 2021 initiative “was supported by significant financial contributions made by US Health Advisors GP Region, Pamaro Shop Furniture in Sarasota, and Janice Farber, the release pointed out. “Special thanks to the Sarasota Memorial Hospital Public Safety Department and Sam’s Club Cattlemen for their support,” it noted.