CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – The Harrison County Sheriff’s Department normally holds an annual Shop with a Deputy event, but that couldn’t happen this year because of COVID-19, so the department improvised.
Instead of a shopping trip to Walmart with almost 200 children, deputies had a toy drive and handout. Roughly 80 kids were selected to stop by the Harrison County 4H grounds where they selected toys, were given two prepackaged bags; one including food and the other more than $100 of clothes and more toys.
Chief Deputy Scott Lattea said this is the 42nd year of giving toys away and his department wasn’t going to let the pandemic get in the way of bringing holiday joy.
“We’re extremely happy to do this,” Lattea said. “The smile on these kids’ faces is priceless. And I’ll tell you, we couldn’t do this without community support and everything. A lot of people donated a lot of these toys, people donated us money so we can go shopping for the kids and we really appreciate that.”
Lattea said although the event was different this year it did provide some advantages. Deputies got a chance to spend more time with each kid since there were fewer than in previous years. Children were guided through the different toy sections by a deputy and even walked back to their cars with at least one deputy to assist.
Unfortunately, there were about 10 children who were selected to receive toys this year who could not stop by on Saturday morning, but there’s no need to fret. Lattea said there will be an effort to still get them their presents for the holidays.
“We’re making contact with those people that didn’t show up today and see if we can get them presents,” he said.
Worst case scenario, Lattea said, the toys will get donated to kids who would go without them. This means one way or the other some child’s Christmas will be vastly improved because of the efforts of the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department.