Christmas in September gives free toys to 100 North County families

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) – A toy giveaway in northern St. Louis County had kids smiling Saturday.

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

Xaviera Stokes brought her three children to the toy giveaway at Vinita Park.

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

Her children received sports equipment, playing cards, stuffed animals, educational toys and lots of other fun things to play with.

“Sometimes I feel like I’m not doing enough for them, but I’m limited in 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 received the free toys on Saturday.

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

“I grew up in this community, so I know the people who live there and how difficult wrestling is, especially these days,” Collett says. “It’s a shame for a child not to be able to play sports or not have something just because of the financial situation.”

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

“It’s also a way of building relationships with the youth and our residents, so whenever we have the opportunity to bridge the gap between the police and the community, we’re all for it,” says the Corporal Hawkins-Byrd.

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

“It makes kids want to open up when they see these kinds of things and these kind of people,” Stokes says. “It gives them a sense of security and a sense of likeness, which makes it easier to communicate with them.”

STL Youth Sports Outreach and the North County Police Cooperative have other community events planned over the coming months.

STL Youth Sports Outreach events can be found here.

North County Police Co-op events can be found here.

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