The Enumclaw Police Auxiliary's Cops for Kids program will begin collecting donated toys and gift cards after the Thanksgiving holiday. As in past years, boxes will be placed in various stores downtown to collect the donations -- they are also being received at the police station. Gifts should remain unwrapped.
Please consider age-appropriate gifts for the children - who range from babies to teenagers. For example, while it's easy to purchase toys for small children, items like a gift card from Target for a teenaged girl or some sort of sports equipment for a teenaged boy would fit needs of older children.
Donations should also steer away from clothes as the gifts are given blind and it's difficult to know what would fit property. However, scarves and mittens are fine.
The Auxiliary, which is made up of about a dozen police volunteers, works with the Enumclaw School District and Kiwanis Food Bank to identify eligible families based on who is receiving free and reduced lunches in school. Kiwanis then invites these families to collect Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets, and in their correspondence to the families, the Auxiliary includes its own application for the Cops for Kids program.
"Our biggest supporters are the students from Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Patrick's classes at Kibler Elementary who have the Raffle, Craft, and Bake sale on Dec 4th," said Enumclaw Police Officer Dustin Lobdell. "All proceeds go towards Cops 4 Kids as the students buy gifts with the proceeds and deliver them to the PD."
Similarly, Sunrise and Sacred Heart Youth Group have also held fundraisers or donation drives to benefit the program, he said.
The families who submit applications have the option to either attend a Santa Party where they can collect their gift(s), or they can have them delivered to them by police officers and volunteers.
This year, the Santa Party takes place at Danish Hall on Dec. 15 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The delivery day is Dec. 19 beginning at 9 a.m.
Have some Free Time?
The Auxiliary appreciates any volunteers who might be available to help wrap the gifts for the children this year. Those interested can call the police station at 360-825-3505 and ask for Officer Lobdell. The Auxiliary will be hosting several wrapping parties in the first two weeks of December -- most likely in the evenings -- and they will take place at the Expo Center as the program has outgrown the police station, Lobdell said.
Those who might also be interested in volunteering at the Santa Party or in delivering gifts can also contact Officer Lobdell at the same number above.