Individuals and businesses stepped forward this year in Atlantic, to make the annual Atlantic Police Department and Reserves Christmas programs for families in need, a huge success. Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green expressed his gratitude for the outpouring of donations, during Wednesday night’s City Council meeting. Green says in all, over $7,600 was raised by donations, and used for two programs run by the Police Department. He says over 44 children and 12 adults were provided with a Christmas that otherwise would not have been possible. Green says without the donations…including $3 given by a 5-year old, and $2,000 from a local businessman…the programs would not have been as successful as they were.
The Police and Police Reserves ran two programs, and have done so for many years. The 1st program, “Family Dreams,” is run by the Police Reserves. This year, the Reserve Officers took seven families on shopping trips in the downtown area, and allowed parents to purchase clothing, coats, boots, and toys for their children. An additional four families were taken for a more limited shopping excursion. Grocery money to purchase needed personal items and/or Christmas dinner, was also supplied to each family.
The second part of the Christmas program is handled by both the Regular Officers and Reserves, and is labeled “Shop with a Cop”. Green says this year, 14 children were taken to the Atlantic Wal-Mart and allowed about $175 each, with which to shop – accompanied by an officer — for necessities such as boots or gloves, and a few toys. The kids were encouraged to develop the spirit of giving, by spending some of the money on their parents and/or siblings. Afterward, the kids and their parents were treated to sandwiches and cookies at the Sub-Way store, located inside the Wal-Mart.
Green says about 50-percent of the cost of the “Shop with a Cop” program is provided by Wal-Mart and funds from the Salvation Army Red Kettle donations.