Pinellas deputies go on shopping spree to purchase presents for families in need

Dozens of Pinellas County deputies, volunteers, and community members were up early Tuesday morning for the 28th annual "Shop for Santa" event.

Shoppers loaded up their carts with toys and basic necessities for kids in need to open on Christmas Day.

Over $75,000 was raised during PCSO‘s Ride and Run with the Stars event to be used for Tuesday’s shopping spree. This year, deputies shopped for over 200 families and 500 kids within the Pinellas community.

Families involved in the Sheriff’s Christmas Sharing Project, a program that helps families in need during the holiday, have been identified by PCSO deputies throughout the year as needing an extra hand during the holiday season.

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Those families were asked to make a wish list of what they wanted and needed this holiday season, and that’s what shoppers used Tuesday to fill their carts. While toys were on the lists, many families also requested necessities such as underwear, socks, and school uniforms.

PCSO also purchased 87 bikes to give to families who need them.

The gifts purchased on Tuesday will be handed over to parents for them to give to their children on Christmas Day.