Departments around the region went shopping with kids, collected food and distributed toys for families in need.
Some of the results of this year's efforts:
• Prince George's County police distributed more than 50,000 toys through the department's annual Toys for Tots drive. The department has partnered with the U.S. Marine Corps for the past four years to collect and hand out toys to children in Prince George's County.
• Officers from Alexandria partnered with two civic associations to purchase more than 60 gifts for selected families. The families received gifts and food for a holiday dinner. The initiative "generated warm smiles from both the officers and the communities involved," said Officer Nicholas Ruggiero, one of the four officers who participated.
• The Greenbelt Volunteer Fire Department and the Greenbelt Police Department held their first "shop along" for less-fortunate children. The departments gave children who were nominated by their elementary schools $125 each to purchase gifts at the Target in Beltway Plaza. Police officers and firefighters accompanied the children to the store, and then held a gift-wrapping and pizza party for them.
• Public safety and elected officials provided food to more than 2,600 families through the Prince George's County Public Safety Assistance Program. The program collects and distributes food to county families in need. "We are living in tough economic times, where many citizens are unable to provide for their families," the police department said in a statement. The program lets public safety officials "ensure this does not happen during the holiday season."