BROOKLAND, AR (KAIT) - A group of Region 8 officers is working as elves on the side.
The Craighead County Sheriff's Department recently held their second annual toy drive.
On Monday, Dec. 5, they loaded their vehicles with enough toys to impress Santa Claus and headed out.
Sheriff Marty Boyd said they had a huge response from the community.
"One of the things that makes living in Craighead County so great, the generosity of the people here," Boyd said. "We get overwhelmed each year that we've done this. It just seems like it grows and grows and we're just able to help so many kids out of this."
Boyd said they decided to start the toy drive because of what he and fellow officers were witnessing every day.
"It's unfortunate, but we see the need every day," Boyd said. "We see families that work hard, but just can't provide for their families like a lot of us can. So, that's one of the things that got us started to do this program. That we thought it was needed and we knew we could make a difference and an impact in some children's lives."
One of their stops was Woods Chapel Baptist Church in Brookland.
Pastor Rick Hathcoat unlocked the doors for them as they pulled us.
"It's unbelievable," Hathcoat said. "It's wonderful the guys that want to help out. Here at our church, we try to do this every year. This year I think we have like fifteen families we're trying to help. There are a lot of the children in our community. Parents work hard, but they can't afford a big Christmas. The ladies of our church, we try to make sure the children have the clothing, the coats, the shoes and things like that they need. And the sheriff's department has been good to help us make sure they get the toys they need."
Hathcoat said they've seen a real need.
"It's tough right now," Hathcoat said. "Things are hard for a lot of families, and we recognize that. But, you know, the Lord has blessed us so much here at Woods Chapel, and we just want to give back."
"Everybody's just so thankful," Boyd said. "They're grateful they get to help a child out and a family out that doesn't have the resources a lot of us are fortunate to have."
Hathcoat said a little bit can make a huge difference in a child's life.
"It's always exciting to get to see the families," Hathcoat said. "When we bring the families in and get to give the children their gifts, their toys and their clothing. Just to see a child and see how happy they are to get a new pair of shoes. That's exciting and blesses us as a church."
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