Bismarck Police, the Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department and North Dakota Highway Patrol hosted a toy and food drive in the Bismarck Walmart parking lot.
“I’ve seen anything from cash donations, to bicycles to small toys to blankets to coats,” North Dakota Highway Patrol Officer Wade Kadrmas said.
Several drivers were pulling in with trunks full of toys.
Miranda Erdle was shopping for groceries when she noticed what the officers were doing.
She said she wanted to support the cause.
“I saw flashing lights and saw that it was a food drive and I thought what better way to teach the kids how to give back, especially during Christmas,” Erdle said.
North Dakota Highway Patrol Sgt. Adrian Martinez started this initiative a year ago in Williston during the pandemic.
“There were so many families that were hurting and didn’t have the money. I just couldn’t think that there would be children that wouldn’t have anything to open on Christmas morning,”Martinez said.
He said hosting this event will show a different side of police officers.
“A lot of times people think that serving is just making arrests and writing tickets, but it’s more than that, it’s getting involved within the community and being able to give back to those in need,”Martinez said.
Whether naughty or nice, officers all agree that everyone deserves to have a Merry Christmas.
“A lot of kids are hoping for something, to be able to open a gift on Christmas morning is everything, is something that every little child cherishes,” Martinez said.
“If what we do today brings some hope to a family in need, it was all worth it,” Kadrmas said.
Martinez said they received more than 280 toys at the drive.
First responders plan to make toy deliveries starting Monday to local nonprofits.
Martinez said he hopes next year the drive will continue to expand and be held in every major city.