Hundreds of Runnels County children will have smiles on their faces this Christmas after the Runnels County Sheriff's Office held their
annual Christmas Toy Drive.

Hundreds of Runnels County children will have smiles on their faces
this Christmas after the Runnels County Sheriff's Office held their
annual Christmas Toy Drive.
Sheriff Bill Baird, who is retiring this week, has been holding the
toy drive for the past 33 years.
"It is just something that has always been important to me," Baird
said. "This year we probably served 400 children."
Baird said hundreds of Runnels County residents, businesses and
organizations donated cash, toys, clothing and other items for the
drive.
"We really had a good year," Baird said.
The bags of goodies were passed out at the sheriff's office on
Wednesday, Dec. 21.
Sheriff Baird along with his wife Sharon, secretary Marie Hoffman and
Sheriff-elect Carl Squyres were on hand to distribute the toys and
clothing. Other volunteers included Dolores Guebara and her daughter
Andrea Havlak and grandsons Ethan and John.
"We do this every year," said Andrea Havlak. "I think it is so important."
Constable Wayne Poehls and 16-year-old Jon Binder were also helping
distribute the toys.
"My grandmother signed me up to do this," Binder said. "It feels
really good to help others."
A steady stream of parents who had put their names on the list came in
to pick up the toys and other items.
Chante Miree and her mother Diane Miree both of Ballinger stopped by
to pick up their bags.
"This is wonderful, Chante said. "We have come every year."
Samantha Lopez, who just moved back to Ballinger following a bad car
accident, said this was the first time she had reached out for help.
"This is really helping my family," Lopez said.
Samantha Van Storey agreed.
"I appreciate this," Van Storey said. "When you are struggling to
support your children, it is really helpful."
Other recipients were thankful.
"I am very grateful for this," said Crystal Fernandez, of Ballinger.
Baird said there were recipients from all over Runnels County
including Winters, Ballinger and Miles.
He said at the end of the day, there are always a few who signed up
who can't make it to the Sheriff's Office to pick up their bags of
goodies.
"We know their addresses, so we take it to them and leave it on their
doorstep," Baird said.