LEONARDTOWN, Md. (Dec. 25, 2008)—There was no shortage of people and organizations reaching out to their less financially-fortunate brothers and sisters this Christmas season. Police in the tri-county area made an especially significant contribution. In addition to Shop with a Cop programs, and Charles County's Christmas bikes program, the corrections staff in St. Mary's reached out with their own special initiative.
The St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office Corrections Division this year adopted a local family, as they have been doing since 1996. Donations of toys and clothing were provided by the uniformed staff, civilian staff, contract employees, and program volunteers. The gifts were wrapped and delivered to the family by members of the staff and Santa Claus.
This year's family is from Lexington Park. The three children—ages nine, four, and one—received a variety of toys and games delivered on December 19, by Santa Claus, played by Corporal Jeffrey Kreps, Corporal Donna Rustin, Correctional Officer First Class Bruce Raley, Correctional Officer Kelly Lowether, Ms. Leann Quade, Ms. Valerie Hayden, Ms. Glenda Dennis, and Ms. Amber Mick.
Ms. Quade, senior administrative coordinator for corrections, has been the primary organizer of the event for many years. This year, Ms. Quade was assisted by Ms. Hayden, administrative coordinator for corrections.
Last year, Sergeant Teresa Studds expanded the initiative by starting a food
drive for the families. The drive operates as a friendly competition among the corrections squads, community supervision unit, transport unit, and civilian staff. The unit or squad who collects the most food wins pizza for everyone within the unit, courtesy of the groups' commanders.