CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - Individuals on probation who are ordered to do community service can donate toys this year and get time off their sentence if it's approved by a judge.
"I remember waking up in the morning and having those little gifts from Santa," Eduardo Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez is among the dozens of Nueces County probationers paying back their debt to society.
"This is my contribution. Help Santa to give to those kids," Gonzalez said.
In return for Gonzalez' donation valued at $50, he will get 25 hours off his community service.
"I like to help everybody, even if it is gas money. Christmas presents on Christmas Eve, anything to that extent," Gonzalez said.
"If you look at the boxes behind me there's a lot of toys in these boxes," said William Shull, director of the Nueces County Community Supervision and Corrections Department.
Shull said the program is, in reality, a win-win any way you look at it.
"And so a lot of, a lot of children are going to have them, where normally they wouldn't have toys for Christmas, so that's the premise of all this," Shull said.
There is a limit to the number of probationers that can donate. It is all kept in a verification system to make sure everything is on the up and up.
"They bring in a receipt, and the receipt has a certain amount on it, and we make copies of the receipt, and we also initial the receipt so they can't use it again," Shull said. "And then they get credit for the hours."
According to Shull, many of the probationers have given more than the maximum of $50 of donations.
Donations were down a bit this year because the probation department believes a similar drive to help Hurricane Harvey victims took place.
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