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Students, police team up for toy drive

Students at Charles Henderson High School (CHHS) are once again teaming up with local law enforcement, this time to host a toy drive for families in need during the Christmas season.

The CHHS Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) have previously held other events with law enforcement for their #BlendingwiththeBlue event series, including an appreciation day at the school and a volleyball tournament with local officers.

FBLA leaders voiced their desire to expand the event to impact the community as well as students.

FBLA adviser Jennifer Sanders said that desire manifested into the idea of collaborating with local law enforcement to hold a toy drive.

“They’re trying to get the community involved,” Sanders said. “We’re hoping by being at Wal-Mart that the community can see the high-schoolers and law enforcement working together and feel more comfortable.”

Sanders said that the cooperation between high school students and law enforcement is specifically inspiring because high school students are more likely to have a negative view of law enforcement.

“In elementary school law enforcement is viewed positively,” Sanders said. “In middle school they’re still okay, but many high school students have a negative view either because of a personal experience or just from what they’ve seen on social media and the news. I’ve already seen a big difference in my FBLA students. We weren’t completely comfortable working with law enforcement at first, but now they’ve become much more comfortable with them.”

Troy Police Chief Randall Barr said that his office is glad to be working with the group again and giving back to the community.

“Christmas is a special time of the year – one of my favorite times of year – and it’s all about helping others,” Barr said. “We’re doing this with Charles Henderson’s FBLA and we’ve done some things with them to help them push their ‘back the blue’ theme, so this is an opportunity for us to pay that forward and help those that are less fortunate. It’s an excellent opportunity for everyone to put their best foot forward to do what they can to help others.”

Barr said that he’d like to see the toy drive become an annual event.

The toy drive will be held in the Troy Wal-Mart parking lot on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The FBLA is asking for new unwrapped toys or monetary donations for the event. Checks should be made payable to CHHS FBLA. Donations will be given to the Boy’s and Girl’s Club for distribution to the families in need.

For more information, email FBLA Advisor Jennifer Sanders at sandersj@troyschools.net.