Thousands of toys given away on Broad Street

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News 12 at 6:00, December 22, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga. --- Big smiles and children carrying away bags filled with toys.

"Beanie babies and a Santa Clause thing and some boots," Simone Goudeau said.

Santa was there to pass out candy canes, and the kids were grateful.

"Thank you for giving me all these presents and stuff cause I like presents," Goudeau said.

Stan Fink who owns Antique World Auction Company, has been doing the toy giveaway for eight years. The Richmond County Sheriff's Office was there to help hand out toys to the little ones. Fink said the main reason they do it is to build the rapport between the Sheriff's Department and the kids.

"A lot of families will tell the child that if your bad, the deputy's going to take you to jail. So this is a good way to put a nice spin on the deputies and the Sheriff's Office that were here to help, not the bad guys," Deputy Mike Gilliland said.

"We want to send a message to the kids that we care about you and we the police, are your friends," Deputy Willie Pleasent said.

And the deputies enjoy helping the kids.

"It's great. It's great. It definitely brightens up the season and reminds you what it's all about," Gilliland said.

Every kid got something special. For example, all the girls got three pieces of jewelry, stuffed animals, dolls, and toys.

"The large shopping bags were not large enough for any of them," Stan Fink said.

Fink said they make sure each child gets at least 10 to 15 items. This includes four stuffed animals and books. All things that Stan Fink donates.

"You gotta give back. You know you can't take, take, take. You have to give back somewhere," Fink said.

And he said the smiles are worth it.

"I'm just thankful to be able to do it. And believe me, it's not easy. But they're more important," Fink said.

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