Members of the Fairbury Police Department braved frigid temperatures multiple times in the past month, gathering toys that will be distributed to kids throughout Jefferson County through a partnership with Blue Valley Community Action.
Ryan Bailey, of Blue Valley Community Action, is thrilled with the turnout this year, emphasizing how grateful she is to the community and to the Fairbury Police Department. Even though the last Stuff the Cruiser event was canceled on Sunday due to wind chills dropping the temperature well below zero, Bailey believes that the turnout was comparable to last year.
“The police were able to collect a lot of toys again this year, which is great for the kids in Jefferson County,” said Bailey. “Because of their efforts, there will be a lot of kids who will be able to see something under the tree on Christmas morning. They did three Stuff the Cruiser events, and each time, the cruiser was stuffed completely full. On top of that, five bikes were donated. It looks like there will be a lot of toys and gifts to give to kids this year.”
Officers collected toys at various locations in Fairbury, such as Wal-Mart and Orscheln Farm and Home. Bailey is grateful for their dedication to the community.
On Monday, beginning at 4 p.m., the toys will be distributed at the United Methodist Church in Fairbury. Bailey explained that residents of Jefferson County will be able to collect toys for their kids during the event; however, they have to bring some form of identification with them to the toy distribution.
“People can bring in a current photo id, or a piece of mail; they just need something to prove that they live in Jefferson County,” Bailey said. “This is just an effort to make sure that we can serve the most people possible in Jefferson County. It’s first come first serve. People will be able to pick out gifts based on the amount of children in their home. Only a few people will be allowed in at a time, so there will be some waiting, but it should go smoothly.”
Bailey noted that if there are some toys left over, then at 6 p.m., grandparents will be able to select toys for their grandchildren. People are still able to donate toys at the Methodist Church before 4 p.m. Bailey noted that there are a lot of toys for younger kids, but not as many available for older kids.
“We still are accepting gifts,” said Bailey. “One of the things that we struggled to get is items for the older kids. So, if anyone is interested, we are still definitely accepting those things. Also, if people have any extra wrapping paper or gift bags, we could always use more of those items as well.
“Overall, I think everything went well this year,” Bailey continued. “I’m really glad that so many members of the community were able and willing to help the kids in Jefferson County. I’m sure that there will be many happy kids on Christmas morning, and it’s all thanks to them and our police department.”