Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office: bringing holiday spirit and sharing the JOY

Ashley Hunter
ECB Publishing, Inc.

Several individuals within Jefferson County contributed in making 2018’s Christmas a special time for children and families within the county.
Leading the effort was the Jefferson Outreach for Youth (JOY), which was founded by David Bitner, who was the Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida and served in the Florida House of Representatives.
Today, JOY continues to support the children and families of Jefferson County, especially during the holiday seasons.
Throughout the 2018 holidays, various businesses and organizations in Jefferson County helped by collecting toys, which were dispersed on Christmas to various local children and families.
Thanks to the donations collected by businesses and given by community members, 130 Jefferson County children awoke on Christmas morning with toys under their family’s Christmas tree.
According to JOY treasurer Angela Gray, the 2018 season saw a record number of donations pour in and volunteers offer to give their time to the effort; the monetary contribution alone was staggering, as JOY received $1,000 in fund donations that would go towards purchasing Christmas gifts.
While businesses collected toys, various private partners within the community donated funds and bicycles for the JOY volunteers to distribute to associates within the community who worked to identify children who would be best benefited by the gift.
This year, as per their tradition that has taken place for over 10 years, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) distributed the bicycles from the staging site within the Industrial Park located off S. Jefferson Street.
27 bicycles were given out by Sheriff Mac McNeill and JCSO’s Cricket Edwards on Friday, December 21.
Despite the cold, windy weather, both Edwards and Sheriff McNeill met with the various community partners and parents who stopped in to pick up the bicycles that had been reserved for several children of Monticello and Jefferson County.
2018’s bicycle donation by the JCSO was a continuation of the event that had been started by the late and beloved Sheriff David Hobbs in prior years.