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Police toy patrol stays busy, handing out gifts to youngsters in housing developments on Christmas Eve

Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013 5:14 PM
Last updated 11:01 PM
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Police cars sped through the streets to three Augusta housing developments Tuesday, but instead of responding to bad news, they delivered Santa and trucks full of toys.

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Children at Olmstead Homes wait to receives Christmas presents from local police officers as part of the ninth annual police toy giveaway though the Richmond County Sheriff's Department on Tuesday, December 24, 2013.    EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Children at Olmstead Homes wait to receives Christmas presents from local police officers as part of the ninth annual police toy giveaway though the Richmond County Sheriff's Department on Tuesday, December 24, 2013.



Bianca Cain Johnson
Staff Writer
E-mail | 706-823-3486

About 1,500 children ages 1 to 16 from Olmstead Homes, Jennings Place and Dogwood Terrace got their choice of toys that filled five SUVs and pickup beds for the ninth annual Richmond County Sheriff’s Office toy drive.

“It’s wonderful to be able to give back,” Sheriff Richard Roundtree said. “We’re not out here for bad. We’re out here to give Christmas cheer the day before Christmas.”

When the trucks pulled up with lights flashing at Olmstead Homes, the children screamed, jumped and pointed at Santa Claus and the sheriff, who walked up side by side to greet the children.

Parents and grandparents pulled out cellphones to capture smiles as youngsters walked away with basketballs, board games, dolls, kites and other toys.

“I think this is nice,” said Tonya Mackey, who came with her grandchildren for the first time. “I was more excited than the kids. It’s a blessing because a lot of children don’t get anything.”

Deputy Larry Watkins lifted Mackey’s 2-year-old granddaughter, Dazzlyn, into the back of the Chevrolet Tahoe so she could find the toy she wanted. Dazzlyn pulled out a Minnie Mouse wand, which Mackey said was the perfect gift for her.

Her other grandchildren crowded around to show her their bubble wands, bracelets and toys they had pulled from the trucks.

“It’s good to see them like this instead of how we normally see them,” Watkins said.

Although he wasn’t scheduled to work on Christmas Eve, Watkins volunteered his time to hand out toys in the housing areas he visits every day. He brought along his two children to show them “how blessed they are.”

His daughter Alicia, 9, bounced around with a smile as she handed out toys and candy canes to the children.

“I like it because I like to see the smiles on their faces instead of seeing them sad,” she said.

About 15 youths from 100 Black Men, a youth mentoring program, also gave their time to hand out toys.

“Everyone is helping out,” Roundtree said at Jen­nings Place as he called over a toddler already with a handful of toys to hand her one more. “We’re all working together.”

Comments (7) Add comment
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Gage Creed
21394
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Gage Creed 12/24/13 - 08:48 pm
5
0
Good Job!

Peace on Earth... Goodwill towards men....

Riverman1
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Riverman1 12/25/13 - 01:39 am
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A fantastic response

A fantastic response for the officers and those who donated. Children's innocent smiles mean more than accolades from most adults.

rebellious
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rebellious 12/25/13 - 04:03 am
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7
Pardon

my Grinch moment, but the article says "It’s wonderful to be able to give back,” Sheriff Richard Roundtree said. “We’re not out here for bad. We’re out here to give Christmas cheer the day before Christmas.” Don't get me wrong, but I am curious who is giving back, and where what they are giving came from. Is this the results of the raise requested 2 weeks into the Sheriff's job? Or is it from profits of the citizen's dragnet? Or maybe the gun auction (if so I question the term "giving back"). Perhaps the proceeds from the invitation only Inaugural.

Bah, propaganda Humbug. Thumbs down coming and I know it. But I also know I have just put in writing what many others are thinking. And they are all right!

tanbaby
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tanbaby 12/25/13 - 07:10 am
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and the only children who
Unpublished

and the only children who aren't getting anything for christmas this year only live in the projects???? sounds a little biased to me.....Merry Christmas anyway....

Grandpa Jones
1597
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Grandpa Jones 12/25/13 - 08:11 am
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To the above Grinch

According to the article, this is the "Ninth annual Richmond County Sheriff’s Office toy drive." The keyword is "Ninth" So, why have a "Grinch Moment," now? If you were truly having a "Grinch Moment," you would been upset with all the parents and grandparents who were pulling out their "cellphones" taking pictures of their little darlings getting "free toys." This was a "Richard Roundtree Moment" that you were having!

palmetto1008
9782
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palmetto1008 12/25/13 - 08:44 am
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Why was grandpa jones'
Unpublished

Why was grandpa jones' comment removed? Seemed accurate and innocuous. Or did grandpa delete himself?.

InChristLove
22486
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InChristLove 12/25/13 - 09:38 am
4
4
I think it is wonderful that

I think it is wonderful that there are some most generous people here in Augusta that want to make a child's Christmas so special, but it concerns me too.....what are we really teaching the children. This article states there were 1500 children among the three low income housing locations mentioned but we have already had three major toy give aways. The Sheriff's Office toy give way, the Salvation Army gives toys away, and the James Brown Toy giveway. Seems to me that some of these toy efforts could be combined and let one group collect can and boxed shelf goods for these needy families. Yes we have food pantries but they can only supply so much and I'd must rather give a family food to sustain them for a month than to overload a child with toys from three groups, that will not be played with but for a week.

InChristLove
22486
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InChristLove 12/25/13 - 10:47 am
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TD, care to explain why the

TD, care to explain why the thumbs down and why you don't like my idea of using our recourses in a better way to help these families?

fedex227
11192
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fedex227 12/25/13 - 11:45 am
0
1
I'm not a thumb up or thumb down kinda guy ...
Unpublished

but sometimes I wish I had fifty thumbs.

InChristLove
22486
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InChristLove 12/25/13 - 11:47 am
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Care to explain why you would

Care to explain why you would thumbs up or my guess would be thumbs down?

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