Squad cars for sleighs: Granby Police become ‘Joyful Givers’
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, CO, Colorado
They’re still wearing uniform blue rather than pointy hats, tights and shoes with curled-up toes, but Granby Police officers are taking on the role of elves this holiday season.
Through a “Joyful Givers” program, the department is gathering children’s wish lists and collecting gifts to be distributed to families in need.
“From our experience, we know there are families in need throughout the county,” said Granby Police Chief Bill Housley.
“I think we’re in one of the best positions to understand the difficulties they go through and the plight some families find themselves in,” he said.
From job losses to family break-ups, Housley said he’s witnessed an increase in economic strain in the community during the past two years.
“When needs conflict with financial ability and stability, it’s stress-inducing,” he said. “Parents want to provide for their children.
Housley hopes the gift campaign can offer some assistance.
The Police Department has so far identified 40 families with about 60 children’s gift lists. The names of the families in need of assistance will not be made public.
Community members may contact the police department to receive a child’s gift request, then purchase the gift and drop it off at the department.
Assisting Santa, officers then plan to deliver gifts to parents by Christmastime and have enlisted a few high school students to help shop and gift wrap.
“It’s an appropriate initiative for the police department to take on,” he said, “for the community to see the caring side of the police department – as public servants.”
Community members also may sponsor a whole family or an individual child by writing a check to “Joyful Giving.” Officers hope to shop for gifts this coming weekend to fulfill lists.
One hundred percent of donated funds will be used to purchase gifts, and will be held in a segregated account under the Town of Granby, according to Housley. He plans to keep a ledger of amounts contributed and how they were expended for anyone interested.
The department is hoping to receive donations by Dec. 11 to facilitate the shopping expedition, but will accept contributions past that deadline.
And, to further support the community, “We’ll buy as much locally as we can,” Housley said.
“It’s a social responsibility for those of us who are employed to step forward and do this,” he said.
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