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Santa Sheriff brings Christmas to 54 area children

Tue, Dec 13th 2022 11:20 am

Once again this year school resource officers from the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Department stuffed their shopping carts full of toys and clothes to bring Christmas to area families in need.

This year the Santa Sheriff program served 17 families, representing a total of 54 area children.

A $4,819 grant from the Santa Sheriff Fund at the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation, established by the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Department to support the administration of the program in 2012, provided funds to purchase of gifts for the families.

For the last few years, the program has received most of its referrals through area school districts to school resource officers (SROs), said Sgt. Tonya Dry. This allows the program to better serve the children who benefit as the SROs are familiar with which children are most in need and have interactions with those children in school throughout the year.

Sgt. Dry, who has served in a leadership role with the program since 2019, works closely with other area gift-giving programs and also takes referrals for additional families to ensure that needy area families are assisted during the holidays.

Since 2012, the Santa Sheriff Fund at CRCF has made possible over $80,650 in grants in support of the Santa Sheriff Fund.

“The Santa Sheriff Program has been a steady source of support for area families in need for some time now,” said CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchheit. “It touches your heart when you see the joy on the face of sheriff deputy shopping for the perfect coat or the perfect toy for a child. It is even more meaningful knowing that joy is only greater when a child sees that on Christmas morning.”

Donations can be made to the Santa Sheriff Fund Fund at CRCF, 301 North Union St., Suite 203, Olean, NY 14760 or online at cattfoundation.org.

The Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation is the area’s supportive, responsive and trusted community foundation. Established in 1994, CRCF is growing good by connecting donors to the causes they care about most in the region. Grants from the foundation support many areas, including education, scholarships, health care, the arts, community development, human service, and youth development. To learn more, call (716) 301-CRCF (2723), email [email protected], or visit online at www.cattfoundation.org. CRCF is also on Facebook (facebook.com/cattfoundation) and Twitter (@CattFoundation).