Sheriff's Office Announces 3rd Annual Holiday Toy Drive

NEWS RELEASE 19-184 - NOVEMBER 13, 2019
Holiday Toy Drive 2019 FINAL
Sheriff Tom Knight is pleased to announce the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is hosting its third annual holiday toy drive benefitting the 12th Judicial Circuit of Florida’s Guardian ad Litem program.
There are currently more than 1,500 children from throughout Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect and as such, appointed a Guardian ad Litem. Because the children range in age from newborn to 18 years old with varying personal needs, the sheriff’s office has chosen to focus the holiday initiative solely on toys and gift cards. Citizens are asked to refrain from donating clothing or stuffed animals and to make sure all donations are new and unwrapped. The initiative begins Sunday, December 1 and continues until Sunday, December 15. Citizens can deliver donations to the agency’s headquarters located at 6010 Cattleridge Blvd., Sarasota, every day between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

The initiative launched in 2017 when the agency moved into its new headquarters facility on Cattleridge Blvd. in Sarasota. To date, with help from agency members, residents, local businesses and organizations, the sheriff’s office has donated more than 2,100 gifts including nearly $5,000 in gift cards to the Guardian ad Litem program. Due to the toy drive’s continued success, the sheriff’s office hopes to beat last year’s numbers and collect even more gifts for children in need. Thanks to a partnership with the Sarasota Memorial Hospital Public Safety Department, hospital personnel is generously donating a holiday tree which will serve as the collection site for the toy drive. The tree will be delivered to the sheriff’s office headquarters on Wednesday, November 27 at 11:00 a.m.*
“We are thrilled to once again launch our holiday toy drive, now in its third year,” said Sheriff Tom Knight. “The outpouring of support year after year from our employees and community during the holiday season makes me immensely proud to be a citizen of Sarasota County.”
The holiday toy drive coincides with the agency’s annual open house scheduled for Saturday, December 7, 2019. The first 500 attendees to deliver a new and unwrapped toy or gift card will receive a free sheriff’s office t-shirt. T-shirts are limited to one per person per gift. The event will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
For more information, contact the agency’s Community Affairs Office at 941.861.4005.

* Members of the media are invited to attend the tree delivery at the sheriff’s office headquarters on Wednesday, November 27 at 11:00 a.m.