A smile from a child is priceless, but a smile from a child after finding out there are presents beneath the Christmas tree with their name on them is undeniably the sweetest.

Each year around Christmas, the members of the Bristol County Sheriff's Office K9 Unit transition into elves to give back to local kids who could use a good cheering up this time of year. The unit teams up with the Justice Resource Institute's foster care and adoption program in Fall River to deliver toys for all the girls and boys.

With all the wrong in this world, it's refreshing to see.

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"There's nothing better than waking up on Christmas morning as a kid and seeing something under the tree with your name on it," Officer Theo Santos said. "Being able to give back to the community and help out is something that I and the rest of the crew at the K9 unit hold dear to our hearts. It's all about the kids to make sure they have a good Christmas."

The toy drive is already in full swing with the deadline set for Saturday, Dec. 16. The team has been collecting new, unwrapped toys (no clothing) for all ages and is accepting donations at their 400 Faunce Corner Road campus in Dartmouth. Donations can also be brought to Klein Greenhouse, 19 Hathaway Road. Drop off a toy and meet the team behind this drive. The gifts collected will benefit children receiving foster care services on the SouthCoast.

Courtesy Theo/ Bristol County Sheriff K9 Unit
Courtesy Bristol County Sheriff K9 Unit

"It's not about the recognition and at the end of the day it’s not about us, it’s all about helping out the kids and giving them a good Christmas," Santos said. "Every kid deserves to have a gift on Christmas Day."

On Instagram, Justice Resource Institute said:

This is such a meaningful partnership that lasts all year long, not just the holidays. We can't wait to see the faces of our families as they feel that expression of love and connection. Great work (as always!) supporting your community.

The deadline for gifts is Dec. 10.

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