Sheriff’s Office Toy Drive, Shop with a Cop bring holiday cheer

Published 10:48 am Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Saturday morning saw Suffolk’s law enforcement bring holiday cheer to children and families in need. The Suffolk Sheriff’s Department and the Fraternal Order of Police held the ninth annual Toy Drive and 15th annual Shop with a Cop events at Walmart Supercenter, located at 1200 N. Main Street. Both events helped provide gifts to children, ensuring they have a merry Christmas in 2023. Chief Deputy David Miles talked about the Toy Drive and its importance to the City of Suffolk.

“Everything that we receive is going to go right back to a child here in the city, and thanks to some partnerships we have with some local organizations, we’re going to dispute the toys on Monday,” Miles said. “These toys hopefully will get to some families in need and hopefully some smiles will be had on Christmas morning thanks to the generosity of our citizens here in the city.”

With the FOP Shop with a Cop event, the shopping aisles saw law enforcement officials helping 19 kids pick out what toys they wanted most for Christmas. FOP Lodge 41 Trustee Allan Iversen Jr. talked about how the organization is supported to continue making a difference in the lives of children.

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“We get a lot of our funding from companies, private donations and also our dues from our own members. Our members also, if there’s certain things that the kids [are] looking for, but it’s outside the price range, I’ve seen a couple deputies go back and out of their own pocket, they’ll purchase something for the kids,” Iversen said. 

Iversen expressed that it’s all about bringing joy to a child and helping them and their parents during the holidays.

“We love the face and the smile of the child and the parents see relief that we’re able to give them. It’s not much, but it’s something to make them a little more joyous for the holiday season and there’s a lot of people in need and our goal is to help out our community,” he said.

Taking part in the FOP Shop with a Cop event, Deputy Sherrie Davis expressed what it meant to her to give back to kids in need.

“I’ve been blessed to be able to do this for several years, and it’s very emotional for me because I just love these kids and this is why I do what I do, to make a difference,” Davis said. “We love spending time with the kids and we get to spend those few minutes and make it valuable minutes and just try to put some joy in their lives and wish them well and hope they have a merry Christmas, but it’s just so awesome to be able to spend a few minutes with these kids.”

Iversen also noted the importance of children and community members seeing law enforcement beyond the badge.

“I’m retired now, but a lot of these Sheriff Deputies and Police Officers, all they’re known for is in uniform. They’re not known for doing things like this. We try to make sure that our members are able to go out there and show the community that we’re just not a police officer or a sheriff’s deputy, we’re a person. We’re part of the community. And as you saw, some of these kids are truly joyous,” Iversen said. “I got more hugs today just from the kids, so to me, that’s what it’s worth.”