Sheriff talks toy drive to Arkadelphia Rotarians

Pictured, from left, are Sunrise Rotarian Allen Morgan, Sheriff Jason Watson and Rotarian Ian Cosh. | Submitted photo/Elaine Kneebone

Clark County Sheriff Jason Watson spoke to the Rotary Club of Arkadelphia-Sunrise on Tuesday, Oct. 10, about the sheriff department’s Christmas toy drive to support the local nonprofits who provide for needy families in the community.

Throughout the year the county’s top lawman accepts anything residents wish to donate, from clothes to toys to furniture. “Some toys we get are new, and I save them until Christmas,” Watson said, adding that the sheriff’s office works in tandem with Junior Auxiliary to help with its Angel Tree program, plus others who either don’t qualify for that program or didn’t their name on the tree.

The sheriff’s personal toy drive, he explained, started out several years ago with and a few others, but it’s since grown to include a whole team of helpers. “I have deputies that take information from families that need things for kids, and we go get them,” Watson said. The sheriff’s office wraps the gifts and adds blank name tags for parents to fill out, and they deliver the gifts while the kids are away so the parents and/or Santa take the credit. “We try to get something Santa leaves out,” he said. “We try to get stuff to families while the kids are still in school, before the holiday break, so they have something to tell at school when other kids are talking about having presents under the tree.”

Additionally, other anonymous helpers assist by helping buy the toys and food for those families, the number of which fluctuates each year but oftentimes includes 20 families, Watson said.

To help with the sheriff’s toy drive, call Watson at 870-223-3860 or the CCSO at 870-246-2222. Toys, clothes and monetary donations are accepted.