By Joey McWilliams
CALERA – The Christmas season is a time of giving.
The Calera Police Department is once again doing its part in helping to make the holidays better for some who may not have as much.
Don Hyde, Calera Police Chief, talked about the local event that has grown.
“We have an annual event that takes place here in Calera,” Hyde said. “It was started at the Dollar General store, and has expanded to the Orschlen store in Durant, as well.
“We kind of piggy-backed off the fire department’s ‘fill the fire truck full of food’, and did the same thing, but obviously with toys.”
This is the fifth year the CPD has done this and Hyde said the goal is to make sure kids have a good Christmas.
“About 30-45 days prior to Christmas, we start getting notifications kids in the ages we’re trying to help,” Hyde said. “Last year, we gave out a little over 700 toys, which is a blessing for our little town and for the folks that are on the receiving end of it.
“It’s not really uncommon with anything else that is going on around the nation, as far as folks identifying a need and trying to execute it. We’re just doing our part.
“I was notified last night of a couple of kids. There was a marital separation along with a loss of job. And we’re just making sure the kiddos have a good Christmas. There are several kids that we’re going to make sure they have that.”
The drive culminates at the Dollar General store in Calera on Sunday, Dec. 17, where people can bring toys to fill up the cop car, and Hyde said they were going to fill it up many times.
“Money is fine, too, because we turn around and spend it at the store,” Hyde said. “And we just make sure we have as many gifts as we possibly can because once we open up the doors at City Hall on the day we dispense the gifts, we have a lot of folks line up and we want to make sure we don’t come up short.”
Toys of any kind for ages 0-12 years old are acceptable.