Dec. 3—LAURINBURG — Sgt. Chris Jackson has been on the Laurinburg police force for 24 years and he's seen a lot. One thing that stuck out to him are the kids who wake up on Christmas day without a gift. He wanted to make a difference in the lives of kids like that, so Jackson took to Facebook and started advertising a toy drive.
The community stepped up. Sponsorships and toys began pouring in at the toy drives he hosted around the county since mid-November.
As a Scotland County native, Jackson wanted to help as many families in this area as possible. "I was contacted by an outside person to help then with a toy drive, it was a multi-county thing and I did that last year. But a lot of the toys didn't go to Scotland County, they went to surrounding counties and Scotland. So, I said I'm going to do one this year for Scotland."
With the help of sponsors like the Laurinburg Police Department, Poole Automotive, Richard Boles Funeral Service, and many others, he's collected brand new bikes, games and toys for kids.
"Everything I get is going to the Church Community of Scotland County, instead of me trying to find a family. They have the better resources for that," Jackson said.
In front of Jerry's Deli & Gill on Thursday afternoon, Jackson greeted people dropping off new and unwrapped toys for needy children in Scotland County. This is the first year Jackson has organized Scotland County only toy drive. Thursday's drive at Jerry's was the third one Jackson has held.
"Being with the police department, I've had the opportunity to see families that don't get food, clothes, toys, not even a Christmas tree at times," he said. "So if I can have a smile on one kid's face, that's what it's all for."
Jackson said he plans to deliver all of the donated toys to the Church Community of Scotland County on Dec. 15 or 16 to make sure the group has enough time to distribute the items to the families.
Jackson said he's planning a few more drives, but he doesn't know the exact dates yet — after all, he still has to fight crime. But he will post the dates, times, and locations on his Facebook page.
Also, if you have items to donate, but can't make it to a drive, Jackson said he will do a home pick up. To schedule a pick-up, call Jackson at 910-610-5140.
Cheris Hodges can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.