The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Department offices looked a lot like Santa’s workshop on Monday morning.
The hallways were lined with brightly colored gift bags, all filled to the brim with Hula Hoops and LEGOs, stuffed animals or clothing, all intended for 150 children who have been affected by violent crime this year.
Giving gifts to families in need has become a tradition for Cleveland County law enforcement in recent years.
“It started a few years ago with maybe 10 or 15 families, and it has grown in just a few short years. There is a real need here,” said Captain Bryan Gordon of the Sheriff’s Office.
Monday was the first of a three-day ministry effort to provide gifts to families. MPs and detectives started the morning by loading their vehicles with gift bags and hauling them to homes in Shelby, Kings Mountain and other parts of Cleveland County.
The giveaways for this year’s giveaway were largely paid for using a grant from Walmart, or donated by local businesses and organizations. In addition to gifts for children, MPs were also able to deliver meals to families this year.
“With the abundance of items that we must distribute to those less privileged than you and me, it shows that the businesses and individuals of Cleveland County are special and unique to those in other counties when it comes to caring. of ours, “said Alan Norman, Cleveland County Sheriff.
For the past two years, toy drives have been organized by the Department of Sheriff’s Department of Victim Services. During the year, the department works with victims of crime to find support from local agencies, social services and navigate the courts while awaiting the trial of the person who victimized them.
Holiday spirit: Shelby students get Christmas present in advance
“Part of our job is to make sure that victims are heard and supported and that their needs are met,” said Andrea Jones-Marshall, Victim Specialist. “Many of our victims go through a traumatic experience and are already in emotional trouble. A lot of them are not necessarily financially stable, so being able to give their children Christmas only relieves them. way for us to support them and let them know that we hear them and see what they need. “
Dustin George can be reached at 704-669-3337 or Dustin.George@ShelbyStar.com.
This article originally appeared on The Shelby Star: Sheriff’s Department plays Santa to 150 Cleveland County kids