ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) – A toy giveaway in north St. Louis County brought smiles to kids’ faces on Saturday.

The North County Police Cooperative partnered with STL Youth Sports Outreach to hold a “Christmas in September” event.

Xaviera Stokes brought her three kids to the toy giveaway in Vinita Park.

“Being a single mom of three, it definitely happens more than not breaking the bank when it comes to Christmas time and gifts and toys,” she said.

Her kids got sports equipment, playing cards, stuffed animals, educational toys and a bunch of other fun things to play with.

“Sometimes it can feel like I don’t do enough for them, but I’m limited on what I can do,” Stokes says. “Things like this definitely help. It helps them feel good and it makes me feel good.”

About 100 families got the free toys on Saturday.

Scott Collett helps run STL Youth Outreach and says it helps kids get sports equipment who otherwise couldn’t afford it.

“I grew up in this community, so I know the people that live in this community and how hard the struggle is, especially nowadays,” Collett says. “It’s a shame for a kid not to be able to play sports or not to have something just because of the money situation.”

North County Police Cooperative Corporal Corey Hawkins-Byrd says the goal of events like these is to give back to the community.

“It’s also a way to build relationships with the youth and our residents, so any chance we get to bridge that gap between police and community, we’re all for it,” Corporal Hawkins-Byrd says.

Stokes says events like this show her that the community cares about the people who live there.

“It makes the kids want to be open to them when they see these types of things and these types of people,” Stokes says. “It gives them a sense of security and a sense of likeness, so it makes it easier to communicate with them.”

STL Youth Sports Outreach and the North County Police Cooperative have more community events planned over the course of the next few months.

STL Youth Sports Outreach events can be found here.

North County Police Cooperative events can be found here.

Quoted from Various Sources

Published for: Mr Blow Up