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Sheriff's department gives away about $40,000 in toys

By Callan Gray, cgray@wcyb.com
Published On: Dec 14 2013 06:06:08 PM CST
Toys From Cops event
BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. -

Christmas came a little early on Saturday for some Sullivan County children.

The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office is giving away about $40,000 worth of toys this weekend for their "Toys from Cops" event.

The line continued to grow all morning outside of the old Food Country building on Highway 126, in Blountville.

One person told us they waited "probably two or three hours," while another described it as "freezing, cold."

The line ran along the outside of the building for a while and people stood in the rain.

We're told the wait was worth it. There were mountains of toys waiting to be picked out by Sullivan County children inside.

"All of the rural County schools chose certain people from their schools that they felt like needed a little help this Christmas," said Sheriff Wayne Anderson.

Kathy Liengerfelt gave her three grandchildren their invitation last night.

"They were just totally excited," she said. "They were up and ready this morning."

"I was jumping up and down," said Liengerfelt's grandson, Nikolas.

Nikolas was one of many children lead around the room by a volunteer.

Each child was given 100 "Deputy Dollars" to spend on the toys. Most of the toys are only 30 to 70 Deputy Dollars, so every child walks away with more than one toy.

We're told all of these toys were bought with donations, including $10,000 from Speedway Children's Charities.

"We stretched $20,000 into $30,000 or $40,000 probably," said Sheriff Anderson.

He told us many of the stores where they bought the toys gave them discounts.

Anderson said they hope this will be enough for the whole weekend. About 189 people came through the door in the first hour of the event, he said.

"That just shows there are so many kids who are really in need," said Anderson.

We're told about 1,200 people came to event last year and they're expecting to out-do that this weekend.

The event was by invitation only on Saturday. On Sunday, the Sheriff's Office is opening it up to all Sullivan County children under the age of 12. The doors open at 9:00 a.m.