HUGS Across The County has announced a new partnership with the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office to assist their deputies and staff as they provide support to local children-in-need.
HUGS has stocked "Deputy Depot" cabinets at the five SJSO substations with emergency clothing, shoes and kid-friendly food items for deputies, school resource officers and crossing guards to distribute to children whom they identify to be in-need. Cabinets will be re-stocked as needed throughout the year.
"Our SJSO sworn and support staff are in a unique position to notice a child’s need, and HUGS has equipped our agency with easy access to clothing items and kid-friendly food that we can give to satisfy a hardship and make a big difference in a child’s day and ours," said SJSO Victim Advocate Cynthia Howell. "We anticipate many guaranteed shared smiles in this win-win partnership.”
In addition to the items in the Deputy Depot cabinets, the HUGS volunteer team will pack emergency clothing bags filled with clothing, shoes, underwear and toiletries for local children identified by SJSO staff throughout the year.
"For 10 years, HUGS has provided emergency clothing and food for thousands of St. Johns County kids, through referrals from St. Johns County school counselors and agency partners like the Betty Griffin Center and the Boys and Girls Club," said founder and director Brette Reiman. "Our volunteer team is very grateful for the work that SJSO deputies, school resource officers and crossing guards do every day to support local kids, and we are honored to provide clothing and food to assist their efforts."
All-American Air Charitable Foundation covered the cost of the cabinets. HUGS has also received community support from private donors and family foundations that have covered the initial cost of the clothing and food for each cabinet.
HUGS accepts donations for this program as it restocks cabinets often with clothing and food. Contributions may be made to stjohnshugs.org/give.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 904-580-4847.
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