EVANS, Ga. (WJBF) — Law enforcement officers and kids gathered at the Walmart in Evans for the 20th Annual Columbia County Sheriff’s Office ‘Day with a Deputy.’

“This is an event where we provide a Christmas for fifty kids that are less fortunate and may not have a Christmas, so we’re out here to provide a Christmas for them. This is something that we love from the bottom of our heart, we always love to give back and be able to help,” said Sergeant Daniel Massey.

The day has kids partner up with members of the Sheriff’s Office and then they shop for Christmas gifts together. The experience not only gives kids a Merry Christmas but also helps them see law enforcement differently.

“At this event here, we love to bond with the kids so they can see that there’s more to it than just locking up bad guys. So, we want the kids to see another side of the Sheriff’s Office,” said Massey.

The event was able to happen thanks to some help from the Merchants Association of Columbia County.

“Merchants Association of Columbia County presents two fairs, one in the fall, one in the spring, and proceeds from our fall fair, we’re able to donate $9,000 to Columbia County’s ‘Day with A Deputy,'” said Reynold Borseth, the President of the Merchant Association of Columbia County.

“Merchants Association makes the money, they pull it in to folks who need some help to get Christmas through, and we as police officers and public safety, and sheriff’s deputies get to come in and help out with these kids,” said Joseph Thompson, Captain of the Board of Education Public Safety.

“It’s good to see that all the work of all the merchants of the Merchants Association, which are volunteers, that all the hard work they put in, we’re able to put a smile on these children’s faces,” said Borseth.

There were plenty of smiles as the kids shopped, and their shopping partners were having a good time too.

“We’ve got sweaters, shirts, we’ve got shoes, a new watch,” Sergeant Natalie Edmonson.
“We’ve got lots of clothes and one of his toys is a big truck,” said Emily Morton of the Explorer Program.

“We picked up some clothes for him, some socks, a jacket,” said Officer Lyquan McCray.
“We got all of our clothes, our hairbrushes and where are we getting ready to shop next Harper? Toys,” said Casie Slater.

‘Day with a Deputy’ was a success and now plenty of kids get to have a Merry Christmas, and they made a few new friends in the process.

“That’s what Christmas is all about. It’s the reason for the season,” said Thompson.

“We just want them to have a good time and enjoy themselves and get some things for the kids that they need as well as some toys. It does my heart so good to see that these kids are smiling, and they will have a great Christmas,” said Massey.