Two hundred and eighteen needy Madison County kids are having a brighter Christmas this year thanks to the county sheriff’s office and community volunteers and donors.

Over $10,000 was raised by the county Toy Ride in honor of the late Stan Elrod this year, and trash bags full of toys were loaded into vehicle after vehicle Saturday morning.

Madison County Sheriff Michael Moore praised Angel Fisher and Torie Lester for organizing the effort.

“Those two really organized it really well,” he said. “They did a lot of shopping. And had a lot of people go shopping. They said they were going to make it happen and they did.”

The sheriff’s office also held a “Christmas with a Cop” day at Walmart recently, with money raised at the sheriff’s office. Ten kids were able to purchase at least $350 in items at Walmart for themselves and family members, with Walmart knocking off 20 percent of the cost.

The fundraising also included a $1,000 donation to the Madison County Food Bank.

Local churches, businesses and elementary schools helped in the Christmas efforts.

“Out of the four years I’ve been here, this is the best we’ve had,” said Moore regarding donations to help needy kids. “We had a lot of people, a lot of businesses step up.”

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