Officers donate toys to abused children

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-Children's days will be brighter and better thanks to a group of local law enforcement officials.

The Fraternal Order of Police have been collecting new and slightly used toys to donate to the Northeast Arkansas Children's Advocacy Center.

There are one hundred and fifty members in the Fraternal Order of Police, made up of police officers, probation and parole officers, county deputies and some regular citizens.

Executive Director of the Northeast Arkansas Children's Advocacy Center, Susie Cover, says

"We work with the police almost every day. So, we appreciate what they do every day. Every year, this time of year, they do something really special for us."

Cover says these toys make a huge difference in how the children cope with their situation.

"What this does, if you can imagine, put yourself in the place of a child whose coming in to tell you, quite possibly, the worst thing that's ever happened to them in their lives. And they turn the corner and the first thing they see are hundreds of stuffed toys. And what that does, for a moment there, it changes the way they feel about what they're about to do. It helps them relax a little bit and if after the interview, where they tell this story, we can see they've attached themselves to a particular toy. We let them take that toy with them."

President for the Fraternal Order of Police, Tony Zaffarano, says he's proud to be a part of a program like this.

"It makes us feel wonderful. Nothing makes us happier than to help out our children's youth and city youth."

This is the second year the Fraternal Order of the Police have worked to collect toys for the Northeast Arkansas Children's Advocacy Center.

Zaffarano says they began gathering toys up for the children about three weeks ago.

"This year we managed to collect two car loads of toys. Not as many as we would have liked to have given, but any little bit helps."

Cover says the toys that are donated are a blessing.

"We use every toy that they give us and they keep us supplied through the year and it's just wonderful."

Cover says they will also be sharing the toys collected with the Department of Child and Family Services for their Toy Closet.

Last year, there were three hundred and eleven substantiated cases of abuse in Craighead County alone.

For more information about the Fraternal Order of the Police, log onto their website.

For additional help and information about the Northeast Arkansas Children's Advocacy Center, you can log onto their website as well.

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