11ToyDriveAs a community, Cumberland County has many organizations that try to look after children and make the holidays a special time. The need is great, and budgets are often small. But a little creativity and generosity from those who are willing to give make a big difference. The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office presents “5 Days of Christmas in July Toy Drive” Monday, July 23, to Friday, July 27.

“For the last 21 years, the Sheriff’s Office has been doing shop with the sheriff where we assist deserving, less than fortunate families that come from the Cumberland County Schools and are recommended by the school social workers,” said Shawna Leake, lieutenant of community policing for the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office. “I was getting inundated with calls from people asking how they can get on the list, and I found myself referring those families to The Salvation Army and Fayetteville Urban Ministry.”

Leake added that she approached the Sheriff and asked if there was any way they could assist those agencies that they were referring people to. This is how “5 Days of Christmas in July” was established.

The toys will be donated to the Salvation Army and Fayetteville Urban Ministry. The event organizers are asking for appropriate toys for school-aged children.

“Please steer away from purchasing toy guns and other items of violence,” said Leake.

Unwrapped toys can be dropped off at the following locations: July 23 at the Walmart at 2820 Gillespie St. from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; July 24 at J. P. Riddle Stadium from 5-10 p.m.; July 25 at the Sheriff’s Office at 131 Dick St. from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; July 26 at the Walmart at 4601 Ramsey St. from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; and July 27 at Fourth Friday at 311 Hay St. from 5-9 p.m. Bring an unwrapped toy to the baseball game on July 24 and receive $2 off the price of admission.

“We appreciate the support of the community for this cause, and we want it to be a huge success so we can give toys to children,” said Leake. “Our goal is to help these agencies out in any way possible.” For more information, contact Lt. Leake at 910-824-4146 or sleake@ccsonc.org.

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