NEWS RELEASE 21-058 - NOVEMBER 4, 2021
Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman is pleased to announce the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is hosting its fifth annual holiday toy drive benefitting the 12th Judicial Circuit of Florida’s Guardian ad Litem program.
There are currently more than 1,300 children from throughout Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect and as such, appointed a Guardian ad Litem. Because the children range in age from newborn to 18 years old with varying personal needs, the sheriff’s office has chosen to focus the holiday initiative solely on toys and gift cards. Citizens are asked to refrain from donating clothing or stuffed animals and to make sure all donations are new and unwrapped. The initiative begins Wednesday, December 1 and continues until Sunday, December 12. Citizens can deliver donations to the agency’s headquarters located at 6010 Cattleridge Boulevard, Sarasota, every day between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
The initiative launched in 2017 when the agency moved into its new headquarters facility on Cattleridge Boulevard in Sarasota. To date, with help from agency members, residents, local businesses and organizations, the sheriff’s office has donated more than 7,000 gifts including $20,000 in gift cards to the Guardian ad Litem program. Thanks to a partnership with the Sarasota Memorial Hospital Public Safety Department, public safety personnel are once again generously donating a holiday tree which will serve as the collection site for the toy drive. The tree will be delivered to the sheriff’s office headquarters on Monday, November 29 at 11:00 a.m.*
“We are overwhelmed by the continued success of this toy drive and thrilled to launch it for a fifth consecutive year,” commented Sheriff Hoffman. “The outpouring of support in 2020 really speaks to how Sarasota County citizens are always ready to help one another, no matter the circumstance.”
The holiday toy drive coincides with the agency’s annual open house scheduled for Saturday, December 11, 2021. The first 500 attendees to deliver a new and unwrapped toy or gift card will receive a free sheriff’s office t-shirt. T-shirts are limited to one per person per gift. The event will take place from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.
For more information, contact the agency’s Community Affairs Office at 941.861.4005.
* Members of the media are invited to attend the tree delivery at the sheriff’s office headquarters on Monday, November 29 at 11:00 a.m.