Seems like it was yesterday that the Enumclaw Police Auxiliary first announced the start of its Cops for Kids toy drive benefitting local children - it was more like a month ago - but Wednesday saw the completion of this year's effort and organizers are happy to lay the credit with each other for another successful year.
Enumclaw Police Officer Dustin Lobdell, the department's liaison with the Auxiliary, shared that this year, 146 families benefitted from the program and in all, 401 children received gifts.
That second number is actually lower than the prior year, Auxiliary member Joan Adams said, when about 470 children received gifts. It's a good sign, she said, though it is also likely a reflection of the many programs on the Plateau that are ensuring local children have a happy holiday.
Adams allowed Patch to ride with her as she made a half a dozen deliveries Wednesday morning. We asked about the Santa party at Danish Hall this past Saturday which families could also attend to pick up their gifts, enjoy some snacks and take a picture with Santa.
Participating families opt to either attend the Santa party or have their gifts delivered.
It was very successful, Adams reported, and is one of her favorite parts of the toy program.
Adams, who works at Collins High School in the White River School District, enlisted her students to bake all the cookies brought to the Santa Party -- White River High School allowed them use of its kitchen facility. She further enlisted several students to help as facilitators and translators for the Spanish-speaking families.
For at least one student, Adams said, the experience was profound and helped to shape a clear idea of what he'd like to do as a career.
For Adams, who helps advise students of post-high school career and education options, nothing could have been more fulfilling.