Visiting a jail isn't typically a happy occasion.
But last week, the smiles were contagious as Sheriff Billy Carlisle passed out bags of Christmas presents to children coming to see family members at the detention center.
"They're so happy," said Tina Coggins of Dawsonville as she watched her toddler sons dig into gift bags full of cars, trucks, tractors, stuffed animals and books.
Lt. Frank Sosebee organized the event to show children with incarcerated family members that officers do care and are not the bad guy.
"We want not only the children but the parents to know that we do care about their future," he said.
Coggins was overjoyed and touched by the gesture.
"We are really grateful they did this, because times are tough right now," she said. "The sheriff's office does care."
Officers and administrative staff from each sheriff's division donated hundreds of toys to the cause.
"This was indeed a group effort. Everyone has been so generous," Sosebee said.
Carlisle said he was proud of his employees and happy to help put smiles on children's faces.
"Christmas is a time for kids," he said. "We want to make sure the kids have a good Christmas.
"Some of them have bad circumstances going on in their lives right now, so if we can make it a little brighter for them, we're glad to do it. It's fun to see how happy these kids are."