The Heart Behind BCSO's "Project 25"

BAY COUNTY, Fla. - Most days, you'll find Records Supervisor, Becky Johns, at her computer inside the Bay County Sheriffs Office.

However, three months out of the year, she's busy collecting toys and money for "Project 25." It's the agency's annual toy drive started under Sheriff Lavelle Pitts almost 40 years ago. Johns has been involved since she started at the Sheriff's office five years later.   

"Children are my weakness, you know," said Becky Johns. "They're just so innocent."

To describe Johns as dedicated is an understatement. Her colleagues have stories of Johns to prove it, like the time a family had no decorations on Christmas Eve. 

"She was really affected by the fact that this family had no decorations, no tree," said Public Information Officer Ruth Corley. "So, she stood there, looked around a little bit, and saw the tree in the lobby at the sheriff's office." Corley said Johns grabbed the tree and drug it to to her car to take it to the family who needed decor.

Starting in October, Johns gathers a list of names, sets a goal, and starts getting donations. 

"People in this community who make this project, it's not Becky," said Johns. "It's the giving loving people in Bay County that pour their hearts out every year."

This year, there are 600 kids on the list who she's promised toys. 

For the next few weeks, she'll work around the clock, she'll make it her mission to make sure every kid has something to open on Christmas. 

"We have people who donate all the way up to Christmas Eve, and I'm here," said Johns. "So bring it on." 

With all the money raised so far, they'll go shopping with it tonight at the Callway Walmart starting at 6 p.m. The community is invited to attend and help shop with those donations.


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