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First Responder of the Week: Sgt. Joe Okos

Sgt. Okos has helped thousands of children get coats, toys, and a hot meal.
Published: Dec. 30, 2020 at 4:20 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - When the holidays come around every year, many children in the area go without something under the tree. That’s where Toledo Police Sgt. Joe Okos comes in. Sgt. Okos founded 12 Kids of Christmas, a non-profit organization that teams up with local agencies to spread holiday cheer to Toledo children.

The kids get a police escort and $100 to spend.

“My dad had to spend some time in the orphanage when he was younger,” says Sgt. Okos, who credits his father for teaching him how to give back. “It was a natural fit. He was an officer, I’m an officer, and I was able to get this program up and running. I’m glad we did it helped a lot of kids.”

In fact, he’s helped thousands of children get coats, toys, and a hot meal. He also teaches kids about gun safety through a program called Operation Hands Off. “There’s always something else to be done,” says Sgt. Okos. “That’s the big one. If I start to think that I’m finished, that I’ve done what I can, then I won’t look for something else to do.”

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