By Diana Bello Aristizábal
During this month, the Neighborhood Resource Unit of Doral Police Department will work hard to make sure all children in the city will receive at least one gift from Santa Claus, taking into consideration that many local families are in an unfortunate economic situation and do not have the necessary means to provide gifts for their children.
For this reason, fourteen schools and nine churches of Doral, as well as several social service agencies, will join forces with the Police to identify needy families that require the help of the community.
The chosen families will benefit through two initiatives: An extensive toy collection, in which the collaboration of residents is essential, and an event funded by the Police with the contribution of Walmart. These are the details of each one.
Toy Drive: Families that help other families
This campaign started on December 3 with the purpose of collecting as many toys as possible and of various types, except toy weapons. Also, it was also created to deliver toys for kids of all ages, from early childhood to adolescence, so that no one is left without a Christmas gift.
Families who wish to contribute to this cause and make a difference in the Christmas of children in need will be able to do so until December 14, by donating new and unwrapped toys directly at the Doral Police Station or at one of the city’s schools or churches.
Each school will make an internal call to invite parents and their children to be part of this initiative and will set the terms to request the donations. Therefore, if you want to donate ask first at the school where your children are enrolled so that you can take your gifts there.
Once the deadline for receiving toys is closed, the Doral Police will have the task of picking them up on December 15 at each school and church with the help of a truck that will later carry them to Ronald Reagan High School, central point to assemble the toys gathered.
At the school, the donations will be packed and distributed evenly according to each infancy age to guarantee all of them are covered. Then, the wrapped toys will be sent back to schools and churches that will distribute them to the beneficiary families a week before Christmas.
Shop with a cop: A day of Christmas shopping
This year, the Doral Police will allocate $7,000 from their budget to benefit 70 low-income children, previously identified by local churches and schools, who will each receive a $100 gift card to redeem in Walmart.
“People tend to think that the police only work to give traffic tickets, investigate crimes or answer service calls, but this is another side of us that not everyone knows, and in this event we will be doing something different not related with our regular duties but very positive for our community”, explains Rey Valdes, Public Information Officer of the City of Doral Police Department.
The gift cards will be given on December 22, from 8 am to noon, at the Walmart store in Doral where children will also get complimentary refreshments, cookies, and sweets, as well as a visit from the Police’s own Santa Claus.
“Children will be able to redeem their gift cards as they wish. For instance, they can purchase something of $100 or 4 toys of $25”, says King Valdes, who points out that this is an event open to the public in which a large group of police officers will be present all along.