With the holidays getting closer, and with many families still needing help this year, local sheriff’s deputies in Greene and Columbia counties are working to make sure that area children will have a Merry Christmas.

In Greene County, the Deputies Association has partnered with the First Responders Children’s Foundation, CSX and Walmart to provide gifts this year to children and families of the county, said Deputy Kristopher Danko, who is president of the Greene County Deputies Association.

“They want to help families that may otherwise have not been able to celebrate this season due to financial hardships from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the ongoing supply chain shortages,” Danko said.

On Dec. 18, county residents are invited to come to the Greene County Sheriff’s Office at 45 Haverly Memorial Drive in Coxsackie between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., where the gifts will be distributed.

There will also be treats available and photographs with Santa and Mrs. Claus. All children will receive a special gift, Danko said.

If anyone would like to donate toys to this occasion, they can bring them to the Sheriff’s Office on Haverly Memorial Drive, before Dec. 18, Danko said.

In Columbia County, they are also looking to help children and keep the memory of Deputy Bernard Roberts alive.

Roberts died unexpectedly at his home on Nov. 7. He was an 18-year veteran of the department.

The Columbia County Deputy Sheriff’s Benevolent Association is sponsoring the Deputy Bernard A. Roberts Memorial Toy Drive in the lobby of the Columbia County Public Safety Building at 85 Industrial Tract in Greenport. Toys can be dropped of 24 hours a day, or by giving them to any sheriff deputy, said Lt. John Rivero of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

“We wanted this to be a living legacy for him,” Rivero said.

The Deputy Sheriff’s Benevolent Association is collecting new, unwrapped toys for the children of the county who are in need this holiday season. Donations are being accepted through Dec. 15.

The school resource deputies, working with the schools, have identified the families who are in need of assistance this year, Rivero said.

The Columbia County 911 Dispatchers Benevolent Association recently made a donation of toys, games and dolls, and encouraged other community groups to do so.

Toy drive organizers ask that you not donate cash or gift cards.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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