In 2018, the Sheriff's Office collected more than 1,300 gifts and more than $3,700 in gift cards for GAL in a holiday toy drive.
On March 26, the Florida Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office officially recognized Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight as the 2019 Community Advocate of the Year for the 12th Judicial Circuit.
“Your leadership provides a beacon in your community for others to follow … helping to ensure that these children have the opportunity to live their best lives and reach their greatest potential,” GAL Executive Director Alan F. Abramawotiz wrote to Knight.
The Sheriff’s Office, according to a release, has regularly partnered with GAL personnel regarding child welfare systems.
In 2017 and 2018, The Sheriff’s Office held holiday toy drives to benefit GAL. Toys and gift cards were also distributed to children throughout Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties who were the victims of abuse and neglect.
“This recognition means so much to our organization and to our personnel. Unfortunately, we see children every day in situations some adults will never face in their lifetime,” Knight said. “What really inspires us is how resilient those children are and if we can give back and make their days even a little brighter, it’s a win for us. On behalf of the nearly 1,000 men and women at the sheriff’s office, we are truly humbled.”