(PUEBLO, Colo.) — Colorado State Patrol’s (CSP) Pueblo Troop 2D partnered with Pueblo’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for the second annual Cram-the-Cruiser event.

Throughout the day Friday, Nov. 25 until 5 p.m. CSP will have cruisers at three Walmarts around Pueblo to “collect new, unwrapped toys, gift cards, or monetary donations for children ages zero to 18, to benefit abused and neglected youth in the Pueblo community.”

Walmart locations:

  • Walmart South – 4080 West Northern Avenue, Pueblo, CO 81005
  • Walmart North – 4200 Dillon Drive, Pueblo, CO 81008
  • Pueblo West Walmart – 78 North McCulloch Boulevard, Pueblo West, CO 81007
CSP CASA toy drive
Courtesy: Colorado State Patrol Pueblo

“As a former CASA volunteer, I have seen first-hand the need to help the growing number of abused and neglected youth in our community,” said Colorado State Patrol Captain Michael Tafoya. “As a state patrol officer, I am guided by the principle that our service goes well beyond the daily call of duty for our communities. Every child should wake up on Christmas knowing they are loved, and that is our ultimate goal.”

Pueblo saw a 29% increase in cases involving physical harm, a 50% increase in child sexual abuse cases, and a 97% increase in cases involving drug-exposed infants. “It’s been a difficult past few years for our families,” said Zane Grant, CASA of Pueblo Executive Director. “But it’s been especially difficult for children already living in difficult circumstances.”

CASA volunteers are one of the constants in children’s lives who are involved with the court systems. “Children with a CASA of Pueblo volunteer experience an average of 9 months in the system, compared to the national average of 1.5 to 2 years.” CASA volunteers serve as the voices for these children both inside and outside of court.

“We are a unique organization that is changing the path for our most vulnerable youth,” said Grant. “The support of Captain Tafoya, his troop, and the entire Pueblo community, is overwhelming and heartwarming, and we are forever grateful.”