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FHP Troops Enjoy Spirit of Giving

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Trooper Chris Wells, Sgt. Larry Kraus, and Trooper Chris Davidson help two Marines load up the toys they had collected at the Troop C Station.
Trooper Chris Wells, Sgt. Larry Kraus, and Trooper Chris Davidson help two Marines load up the toys they had collected at the Troop C Station.

This year troopers from many of the Florida Highway Patrol Troops got into the spirit of the holiday season by looking for ways to help those in need. One Troop helped the Marines collect Toys for Tots and another participated in their local Shop with a Cop event. When a local nursery lost their presents to a thief, a Troop put together a toy drive to make up the loss and troopers frequently patrolled the area to be sure it didn’t happen again.

Toys collected at the Troop C Station.

Troop C Collects Toys for Tots: Troopers teamed up with the United States Marine Corps for their annual Toys for TotsDrive. Troop C collected toys at all their local stations. Trooper Christopher Wells and Trooper Christopher Davidson assisted with dropping off the toys to the United States Marine Corps.

The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted. The objectives of Toys for Tots are to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to better communities in the future.

Thanks to the dedication and hard work of the Troopers and Office Staff in Troop C, the collection was a great success.

Corporals  Wilson and Starling shop for clothing with their student.
Corporals Marie Wilson and Jimmy Starling
shop for clothing with their student.

Troop G Participates in Shop with a Cop: Troopers joined other law enforcement agencies in Bradford County as the Starke Police Department held their 5th annual Shop with a Cop event at a local department store. Over one hundred children were given the opportunity to shop with a local police officer for Christmas gifts up to $100. The children were chosen by their teachers who work with the students every day. Those chosen had to have a need as being less fortunate than others, but also must be progressing academically. Twelve local FHP troopers volunteered their time, along with law enforcement officers from Starke Police Department, Bradford County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Corrections, FDOT Motor Carrier Compliance, Florida State Fire Marshall’s Office, Lawtey Police Department and other agencies, to take the children around the store as they shopped for presents. Some of the children shopped for themselves, but the most heart wrenching stories, were of the children who shopped for their own brothers, sisters or parents. These kids truly took to heart the spirit of giving for Christmas.

Troopers Hilliard and Torres help their kids shop.
Troopers Kerri Hilliard and Maria Torres help their kids shop.

Lt. Blom gets a bicycle for his student.
Lt. Kevin Blom gets a bicycle for his student.

Trooper Cummings checks his list twice.
Trooper Alex Cummings checks his list twice.

Thanks to all who volunteered their time and donated their money to these less fortunate children. All of the troopers agreed that they enjoyed the event as much as the children did and look forward to coming back next year.

Troopers restock daycare after thief makes off with presents.
Troopers restock daycare after thief makes off with presents.

Troop D Toy Drive is a Huge Success: Troopers held a toy drive this year to help give gifts to children in need in Central Florida. Troopers partnered with many different groups to help make this mission a success. Meadowbrook Middle School collected over 400 toys. Troop D Auxiliary donated $400 and troopers and dispatchers brought in gifts daily to fill our bins. Local businesses helped collect over 1000 toys. Then it was time to wrap the gifts. The office staff and troopers got out their scissors and tape and started wrapping.

Trooper collects toys from Meadowbrook Middle School
Troopers collects toys from
Meadowbrook Middle School.

Troopers collect toys from local surgeons.
Troopers collect toys
from local surgeons.

Troopers distributed the toys to many different groups, including The Russell Home of Central Florida for atypical children and Gordon’s Daycare where all of their presents were stolen by thieves. The children were so excited to know that they would still have a great Christmas when the troopers delivered the toys. The victim advocate worked with families that had a loved one killed in a crash during the past year. Children of those victims received toys from troopers.

Troopers have to deal with so much sadness in their jobs every day. Putting a smile on a child’s face by giving them a toy makes the job a little easier.

Happy Holidays from the
Florida Highway Patrol!

 

 
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