Fortunate Rutherford County residents may share their blessings with 25 Rutherford County children to receive Christmas presents they might not otherwise enjoy, said Sheriff Robert Arnold.
The sheriff and School Resource Officers hope to raise enough funds to take 25 children shopping for Christmas presents through the Shop with the Sheriff event. Sheriff Arnold and SROs will ask diners to leave donations for the children in envelopes placed on the tables during the fund-raising event from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18 at Toot’s South on South Church Street. All funds will be used for the Shop with the Sheriff program.
“Unfortunately, these children may not have any Christmas presents,” Sheriff Arnold said. “Shop with the Sheriff allows the children to select their own presents. Many of the children share by shopping for their sisters and brothers.”
Sheriff Arnold appreciates the SROs who raise funds and Toot’s employees who partner with the Sheriff’s Office for the event.
Bill McCrary, Toot’s director of operations, said the restaurant staff wants to be involved in the community and enjoy the fund-raising event.
“We don’t feel like these kids get enough support for presents,” McCrary said.
Sgt. Jimmy Cassidy of the Community Services Unit said the SROs coordinate with the Rutherford County Schools’ system to select children whose parents cannot afford Christmas presents.
“They all need some type of Christmas because this is the only Christmas they are going to have,” Sgt. Cassidy said. “It’s our way of giving back. It gives us a chance to help out.”
Kim Snell, who coordinates the Rutherford County Schools’ Atlas program for homeless children, said many of the children selected for Shop with the Sheriff qualify as homeless and live in vehicles, campgrounds, motels or doubling up with already crowded families or friends.
“Typically, many of them would not have anything if they didn’t have an opportunity to Shop with the Sheriff,” Snell said. “Many of them not only buy for themselves but also buy for a parent or sibling. It means a lot for them to be able to do that.”
Sgt. Cassidy said donations will be accepted at the Sheriff’s Office located at 940 New Salem Highway. Checks should be made out to the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office with Shop with the Sheriff on the tag line.
“People are really generous this time of year and we appreciate every donation,” Sgt. Cassidy said.
Lisa Marchesoni, Rutherford County Sheriff's Office