Hundreds of toys taken into custody

Shawano County Sheriff’s Office ramping up Toys for Tots participation
Lee Pulaski
City Editor

The Shawano County Sheriff’s Office raided the Shawano Walmart on Nov. 29, taking hundreds of toys into custody with onlookers watching.

It was all for a good cause, though, as the toys will be turned over to good girls and boys just in time for Christmas through the Shawano Toys for Tots. Several of the county’s finest stood in front of Walmart for several hours collecting toys, having to bring out additional squad vehicles as the community’s giving spirit kicked into high gear. As cash donations poured in, as well, some officials went inside to capture toys to help more families.

The sheriff’s department has previously accepted donations at the lobby for its office, but this year, it was decided to ramp up efforts a little bit, according to Lt. Chris Madle.

“It’s the holiday season, and we’re just out here to be part of the community and make a difference,” he said. “We’re all human behind the uniform we wear, and we have kids at home. We have families, and we like to do anything we can to make somebody’s holiday a little bit better.”

Madle noted that finding toys with the donated money made the day just a little more heartwarming for him. One giving soul told Madle and his crew that she was giving cash even though she had toys at home to give but kept forgetting to take them to one of the collection sites.

“If people donate the money to us, I’ll take the time to go shopping,” Madle said. “To pick out the toys for the kids, it’s something fun to do.”

Madle and other sheriff’s department officials have been in awe about what folks have done to give for the cause, but he noted it was not unexpected considering the support received during other benevolent events throughout the year.

“The community has been very supportive of this,” Madle said. “They’ve always been supportive of things like the Cops at Culver’s Day. Our community comes out as very supportive of things like this.”

Social media promotion was key to getting people involved, according to Madle. Even though the event took place on a weekday when most folks were at work, there were plenty of people who took time to give.

“That gets people excited, and they’re willing to help out, which we appreciate,” Madle said.

Shawano’s Toys for Tots will begin distributing toys Dec. 8, and the last day for families to request a toy is Dec. 14. Over 2,700 toys were distributed to support over 1,100 children in eastern and central Shawano County.

For information, contact local coordinator Michael Johnston at 715-280-0991 or