By Dillon Thomas

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– In hopes of helping children who are involuntarily in the middle of legal issues, an elementary school student decided to change the way she celebrated her birthday.

Rachael Burson said she already has enough toys. So, the 9-year-old asked her friends to bring stuffed animals to her birthday party, which she could later donate to the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office.

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Rachael Burson (credit: CBS)

Burson gave the stuffed animals to deputies, so they could give them to children who are scared.

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Rachael Burson (credit: CBS)

“People in need, (deputies) are helping them. Everybody should be doing that, I think,” Burson said. “There are (a lot) of children out there who don’t have anything. And there are other kids, like in Parker, that have amounts of toys.”

Burson said the toys could be an emotional support system for kids who are at the scene in which a deputy responded.

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(credit: CBS)

“Their parents are in jail, or they are a victim, or they don’t have anything,” Burson said. “Every kid gets excited when they have a surprise.”

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Burson donated dozens of stuffed animals to the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office.

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(credit: CBS)

“It is absolutely heartwarming when we have young children like Rachael being incredibly thoughtful and kind,” said Audry LaCrone, spokesperson for the sheriff’s office.

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(credit: CBS)

“It is really helpful for our deputies out on the streets. They are walking into situations where children are not having a great day. They just need something to make them feel a little bit better.”

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(credit: CBS)

Burson encouraged other kids her age to consider skipping their regular birthday gift requests, in hope of helping others in times of need.

In the meantime, she hoped her donations would provide a smile to a kid in need.
“I hope they are very happy when they get a stuffed animal,” Burson said.

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(credit: CBS)

The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office encouraged anyone with a desire to help out a local department to contact them first. Then, each individual department can express what they are in need of to help others.

Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.

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