When Francine Lustre with the Tennessee Department of Correction’s State Probation and Parole Department asked the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office to participate in the Toy Drive, the Sheriff’s Office placed a donation box in the main lobby and set up a poster asking for donations, then posted a photo on the Sheriff’s Office social media website. West Elementary School employees learned of the event through social media and began discussing with Wilson County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officer Joseph Bowen the possibility of helping.
West Elementary School Principal Becky Siever immediately agreed to the idea, and employees set up three donation baskets in addition to placing posters advertising the event throughout the school. As a result, students and employees donated many more toys for the drive.
“The Sheriff’s Office is so thankful for West Elementary School students and employees for taking the initiative to offer so much help with such an important program,” said Sheriff Bryan. “West Elementary School is teaching its students a valuable lesson in helping others through the kindness of giving back to the community.”
September was Victim Awareness Month. Each year, the Office provides a collection area for the State Department of Probation and Parole. All the toys collected will go to law enforcement and fire department agencies throughout Wilson County to give to young victims in traumatic situations such as a traffic accident, crime or fire.
WCSO Resource Officer Bowen said the school donated more than he expected after an employee sent notes to parents about the charitable efforts. “I was extremely proud of these students who gave up so much to help other children feel better.”