BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It’s a side of law enforcement many of us don’t get to see that often, but just because we don’t see it, it’s this side of law enforcement that’s always, always there. It’s the giving spirit always willing to lend a helping hand side of law enforcement that’s always there.
And where children are concerned, our law enforcement agencies have a special soft spot. That’s exactly why so many of them volunteer for the annual Christmas Crusade for Children.
“This is our 32nd year doing this in the Christmas Crusade for Children,” Baton Rouge City Constable Major Reginald Brown told us. And according to Major Brown, the need this year is greater than last.
“Last year, we served about 3,000. This year, we expect it to be somewhat upward of that,” he said.
Many children would not even experience Christmas if it weren’t for the Christmas Crusade. “It means a lot to a kid. Some people look at the size of the gift, but I want to emphasize it’s not the cost, it’s not the size, it’s the thought behind the gift,” Major Brown explained.
“If you look at the faces of kids that are receiving the gifts, you will be impressed, and your compassion just overflows. And sometimes, tears flow out your eyes as you see the gifts that you put in some of these kids’ hands, because it’s the thought behind it.”
In fact, Major Brown says that gifts coming from law enforcement makes it even better because that’s the side of law enforcement many people don’t see.
“And we don’t ask them [law enforcement officers] to do it,” Major Brown said.
“I mean, the many deputies through the constable’s office, from the sheriff’s office, and yes, we have city police officers and other law enforcement agencies just come in and join us. They say, ‘Look, we’re gonna’ go with you to volunteer and help deliver the toys.' That means a lot, and it certainly impresses the kids because they see us in a different respect.”
WAFB’s Hand It On program always looks forward to supporting this great cause. This year is no exception.
We met up with Constable Brown and clerical specialist, Bertha Jenkins, at their Office for Community Services.
“Major Brown, Channel 9 loves to support anything that has to do with children. We’re going to donate our $300 Hand It On gift today for you to start buying toys for the kids”, I explained as I handed Constable Brown three crisp, new $100 bills.
He immediately called Bertha over, as she coordinates the toy drive. “Wow. Wow. Bertha look here. Let me put it in the hands of this young lady here that will be facilitating taking it,” Bertha shyly accepted the cash.
“Bertha, put that with our cash. You know we need plenty more, but let’s thank this man officially. That’s awesome!”
Applications for the East Baton Rouge Crusade for Children toy drive are being accepted at all sheriff substations, and at the City Constable’s Office, through Friday, November 30.
And you can help put a smile on many children’s faces by dropping off a cash gift or an unwrapped toy for the crusade at these same locations.