AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - For more than 30 years, Auburn police officers and firefighters have collected toys to make sure each child in Auburn has a magical Christmas.
More than 3,000 toys donated by Auburn families and businesses are ready to delight local children on Christmas morning.
"This is an example of the generosity of the people in the community that have contributed," said Captain Lorenza Dorsey with the Auburn Police Division. "We have collected over 3,000 toys that will go to over 200 kids who wake up on Christmas morning with toys under their tree as a result of this."
Officers and firefighters work on their days off to organize, sort them and distribute the toys.
"Each kid may receive anywhere from 10 to 15 toys, it depends on the number of toys we collect and the number of families in need of the gifts," Capt. Dorsey said.
To benefit from the toy drive, all a family needs to do is show proof they live in Auburn and they have children. There are no financial or background checks and no hoops to jump through – if you need the toys, they're yours with no questions asked...
"I've got kids and grandkids and I am with them on Christmas morning and I see the excitement that comes from opening the gifts under the tree, it's a great experience and all kids should have that Christmas morning memory when they wake up.... and that is what this is about," Capt. Dorsey said.
Police officers and fire fighters tend to bend the rules when it comes to the toy drive. If a family does not meet the deadline to get toys, public safety works with them to make sure their kids have a Christmas.
Auburn also shares gifts with other toy drives in east Alabama, who may fall short of their collection goals.