Police lead efforts to fill holiday stockings
November 16, 2010
Police are rolling up their sleeves and ready to slip on their elf shoes with the onset of this year’s holiday toy drives.
Last year, as many as 148 children throughout the county were treated to donated gifts from the community through the work of the Granby Police program “Joyful Givers” and the Kremmling Police department’s “West Grand Wishes.” This year, The Fraser-Winter Park Police Department will be adding to the giving force through Joyful Givers.
“We’re here to support the community and help people, and this is the most rewarding way to do it,” said Granby Police Chief Bill Housley. The Granby-based program doled out 140 gifts to the Grand County community during last year’s inaugural effort. Police also supplied $100 City Market Food cards to each family due to the overwhelming generosity of donors.
In Kremmling, where the West Grand Wishes program has been established for several years, 63 children were awarded gifts directly from Santa Claus at the CSU Extension Center last year. The way the program works is those who want to contribute gifts can locate Christmas trees in various Kremmling businesses. Police hang ornaments with gift ideas, and community members take them and purchase the gifts, then set them under the tree unwrapped. Kremmling police, their families and other volunteers then spend a day wrapping the gifts. They deliver them to Santa Claus for distribution prior to Christmas. Families in need have scheduled visits at the CSU extension center for a photo sessions with Santa, at which time he doles out the gifts to the children. The program also accepts cash donations, which police can use to purchase gifts for children of families struggling to meet holiday costs.
In Granby, the Joyful Givers program is also coordinated through police, who take suggestions of families in need with the help of schools faculty and administrators. “We’re open to input from anywhere on families who need help, and anyone can contribute and adopt the gift needs of children,” Housley said.
Those who want to contribute need only contact either the Granby or Fraser-Winter Park police department for the suggestion of toys desired by the area’s children. Or, they may contribute a check made out to Joyful Givers and police will do the shopping.
Community members who purchase toys for the cause may then deliver them to the police departments either wrapped or unwrapped. Police then wrap unwrapped gifts and deliver all the toys to families. “We arrange to deliver at a time good for each family,” Housley said. “We don’t want to take the joy away from parents giving gifts to their kids.”
This year’s Joyful Givers program is working in conjunction with Angel Outreach and is accepting assistance from the Granby Chamber of Commerce. Police are also delivering Grand Lake Rotary food baskets this year to families of need.