Groups donate toys to CCSO to comfort children in crisis situations

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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Children who may find themselves in troubling situations who require the assistance of the Covington County Sheriff’s Office will receive some warmth through stuffed animals provided by Priority Kids of Andalusia.

The I Love You More Ministry operates in remembrance of Saraland Police Department Dispatcher Amberley Payton who was killed in a 2020 vehicle accident.

Priority Kids partnered with the “I Love You More” ministry collected the stuffed animals and packaged them with the intention of comforting children who are facing crisis situations. The I Love You More Ministry is a group that honors the memory of Amberley Payton, a police dispatcher with the Saraland Police Department who was killed in a vehicle accident in 2020. Each package is marked with the John 3:16 Bible verse in memory of Payton, whose badge number was 316, along with “I Love You More” bracelets.

On Valentine’s Day, Michelle Sutton and Susan Byars presented the donation to CCSO Chief Deputy Todd Grimes at the sheriff’s office.

“The Covington County Sheriff’s Office is blessed to receive these awesome gifts for our deputies to present to children who have been placed in crisis situations,” said Sheriff Blake Turman. “These horrible situations are often responded to by our deputies on a consistent basis; it may be a vehicle crash, domestic violence situation, homicide, suicide, child neglect or abuse calls or other times when children are facing terrible and troubling incidents.”

Priority Kids is a religious organization that works with churches, parents and schools to empower students through the gospels.

“Their hope is to share the love of Jesus with those who come in contact with these stuffed animals,” Turman said. “Their mission at Priority Kids is to share the love of Jesus with children, so the partnership with the I Love You More ministry made perfect sense. Amberley’s brother, Garrett, along with his wife Amy, and their sons, Chase and Cooper live in Andalusia and are dear friends of the staff at Priority Kids of Andalusia. The sheriff’s office is so thankful for these donations and we pledge to utilize them to the most optimum level of efficiency for the children of our county.”