Jackson County

Santa Wears a Badge, cops shaking cans to give needy children a Christmas

However children picture Santa in their minds, it’s not likely they think of police when they think of Old St. Nick.

But Santa’s wearing a badge in Jackson County, where the Sheriff’s Office has started collecting toys for less fortunate children who aren’t being served by any other type of Christmas help. Its part of efforts in South Mississippi to help needy children this Christmas.

This is the third year the Sheriff’s Office has sponsored the Santa Wears A Badge program. Boxes are being set up at the county courthouse and other locations so anyone who’s able to help can deposit a gift.

“It’s better to give than it is to receive,” Sheriff Mike Ezell said. “I’m thankful for all I have and it’s such a good feeling to be able to give. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure needy children have a good Christmas.”

Schools, churches, civic organizations, first-responders and others can provide the Sheriff’s Office the names, ages and addresses of children up to age 12 who are in need of Christmas gifts. Their families must live in Jackson County.

Anyone who wants to donate or have a dropoff box placed in a secure location can call Connie Bosarge at 228-769-3247.

The boxes will be picked up Dec. 16.

Helping foster children

In Hancock County, police will shake cans to collect donations Dec. 2 for Foster the Cause, which provides gifts and a party for children in foster care. Deputies will be collecting donations at the Wal-Mart in Waveland, Diamondhead police will collect money at Rouses and Waveland police will collect at Claiborne Hill Supermarket.

The Waveland Fire Department and the Highway Patrol Driver’s License Office are among several locations where unwrapped toys and gift certificates can be dropped off for Foster the Cause.

Several Mississippi Coast police departments will be helping needy children through the Toys for Tots and Angel Tree programs.

Are you a Holiday Helper?

Send information on your holiday helper program to mynews@sunherald.com.