by Joyce Leggett Brock
ASHLAND — Each year, the Benton County Sheriff’s Department coordinates a toy drive benefitting children in need in Benton County. With the help of other community organizations, this year was one of the most successful yet.
The Dollar General store in Ashland partners with the Sheriff’s Department each year. Donation boxes are set up in the front of the store, where citizens can donate new toys to the effort. Many of the toys collected come from generous individuals in the community donating toys in that way.
This year, Ashland Civic Club and Snow Lake Fire Department made big contributions to the effort, as well. Contributing both cash and new toys, they helped to round out collections taken at Dollar General.
Sheriff’s Department employees sorted and organized all of the donations. They also did the shopping for which cash donations were used, working carefully to get the most for each dollar. Before it was over, toys were literally stacked floor to ceiling in the Sheriff’s Department.
In the end, around 20 children were provided with toys for Christmas, one family was provided with groceries and those involved were provided with an extra dose of Christmas cheer.