Toys for needy kids, gathered by Sgt. Green and his helpers this year. (Boston Police)
BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A Boston Police sergeant is being recognized for spreading Christmas cheer to kids in need.
Over the last 15 years, Sgt. Steve Green of the Boston Police Department has liked to go under the radar as he shops for toys.
"If ever there were an award to be presented or given to the person who best represents or exemplifies what it means to be one of Santa’s Secret Helpers, then we eagerly and enthusiastically nominate Boston Police Sgt. Stephen Green of District D-14 in Brighton," read a post on the Boston Police blog. The department said he's gathered over 30,000 toys for needy children since he started his efforts.
He's known as "Sgt. Santa," and told WBZ NewsRadio he's loved this time of year since he was a little kid.
"One day when I worked downtown, I noticed that a lot of the kids I ran into in Charlestown, they needed things," he said. "So, I just went about and just started collecting money and toys."
Now, he's getting calls from cops around the city who want to help.
"Once it kind of got out there, I've been getting phone calls from other policemen and policewomen that want to help out," he said. "They've come forward and they've helped either distribute toys, or made donations. It just kind of spread like holiday cheer."
Sgt. Green stops at area hospitals to give toys to sick children.
"I think it just kind of alleviates a little bit of pressure at a time of the year when they may not be able to take care of themselves," he said.
This past weekend, Sgt. Green was recognized at TD Garden during a Celtics game.
"This Christmas, when you consider the meaning of one of our more cherished holidays, we humbly ask you to consider the efforts of Steve Green and the men and women of the BPD who have made going above and beyond the call of duty a regular occurrence during the holiday season for the last 15 years," Boston Police wrote.
"I've always liked Christmas," Green said. "It's the best time of the year. It's all about giving and helping people out."
WBZ NewsRadio's Kevin Coleman (@KevinColemanWBZ) reports