EVANSVILLE (WEHT) – This year has been unlike any other. With the help from Indiana Pacers Sports and Entertainment, the Evansville Police Department decided a pandemic would not ruin a child’s wish for a toy. With toys filling tables, officers got to work in front of the Civic Center Wednesday with COVID-19 guidelines in place.
“This year’s a little bit different, obviously. But they were adamant that we do it and we figured out how to do it,” said Danny Lopez, Indiana Pacers External Affairs Vice President.
“It’s a festive, fun time. Our goal is to build relationships with the community, let them see we’re part of the community, and hopefully they see that,” said Billy Bolin, EPD Police Chief.
They were ready to tackle a drive-thru toy drive that met COVID-19 restrictions. But what they didn’t expect was the amount of people. People in cars were lined up all along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard ready to pick up a toy.
“We didn’t know what to expect, we were hoping we’d get enough people to give these toys out and now I’m hoping we’ve got enough toys to give out to everybody who’s here,” Bolin said.
All to bring smiles to kids living through a pandemic.
“It’s great for the community. It’s great for the kids. For a lot of these children this might be one of the few gifts they get this holiday season,” Lopez said.
(This story was originally published on December 16, 2020)
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