TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Hundreds of children in the Toledo area will wake up to gifts under the tree Christmas morning, thanks to the efforts of Toledo's finest.
The 10th annual 12 Kids of Christmas is now a tradition for the Toledo Police Department as well as other local first responders in northwest Ohio.
"We have federal agents who are here is this year. It is word of mouth and a lot of people just want to come and join us," Joseph Okos of TPD said.
The tradition connects foster children with officers, developing relationships between the police and those they swear to protect.
"Every officer has a child, so you still have that personal interaction with that child, which is just a really great feeling to be able to help these kids at Christmas," Sgt. Daniel Raab said.
Kids got a ride in style, with departments driving kids around in several vehicles, including TPD's Bearcat used by the SWAT Unit.
Officer spent five hours with the kids, developing bonds they hope last beyond the holidays.
"Last year we had an officer who by accident, showed up, wasn't on my list," Okos said. "We paired her up with a child to shop and she ended up adopting that child."
Every year there are bonds developed giving kids the knowledge that they are special and are cared for by those who protect them each day.