St. Louis police officers carried more than their badges into some area shelters on Christmas Eve Eve.
A month-long toy drive brought in about two-thousand dolls, trucks, balls and games... and Thursday morning the officers delivered them.
We were with them at Almost Home, a place that helps teenage mothers and their children head on a better course than the one they were on.
Officers brought in big box after big box of toys. Moments later, young moms and their wide-eyed kids walked in and the kids picked out whatever they wanted.
Sgt. Edward Smoote, who organized this project, says as much as the officers are about bringing some Christmas cheer, there's another more long-term goal at play here.
"Sometimes it's a good way to build a relationship with them and get a foundation started early, especially with children and build a trust with the neighborhood and that way we can come out and help them and they can interact with us in a better way," says Smoote.
There is one problem with all this generosity... the police are going to have more toys than they know what to do with right now. They're looking for a place to store the leftovers and the toys they may collect throughout the year.
For more details on the effort check out www.stlouisbluelinefoundation.org.
Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV-TV. He can be reached at MSchnyder@kmov.com.