Tarpon Springs, FL – The police station was the unlikely location for an early visit from Santa Claus, who stopped by to personally deliver holiday gifts with the help of the Kids Wish Network and Santa’s elves-for-a-day, the Tarpon Springs Police Department.
“Oohs” and “aahs” filled the air, as holiday cheer was shared with the community in the form of toys and games worth approximately $20,000. The gifts were distributed Tuesday, December 23, 2008 to more than 300 very deserving youngsters who participate in the Tarpon Springs Police Department’s Cops & Kids Program. Earlier in the day, police officers delivered toys to the homes of program participants who could not travel to the event.
This is the second year that Kids Wish Network has worked with the Tarpon Springs Police Department and both were happy to come together again to bring happiness to some children who really need it.
Program volunteers do their best to match gifts to children’s individual letters to Santa, making for a very special holiday treat for these kids. In joyful anticipation of her visit from Santa, five-year-old MiKayla Spatz even brought him homemade cookies to thank him for her gift.
The wonderful gifts are part of the Holiday of Hope Gift Bank Program run by Kids Wish Network. The Holiday, Fla., based national charity is dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children.
Tarpon Springs Police Chief Mark LeCouris said the department is thrilled to be able to help more local children in need at this year’s event. “Our continued partnership with Kids Wish Network brought a lot of hope and smiles to some special needs, at-risk and disadvantaged children in our area. Especially now, when economic hardship is at its peak, we are happy to be able to work together for these kids. Giving back to the community is what the season is all about.”
Madeline Robinson, Manager of Wish Department for Kids Wish Network, said the charity was delighted to once again work with the Tarpon Springs Police Department. “Kids Wish Network works with children and pediatric care facilities all across the country and last year we were delighted to be able to give back to children right here in our own community. We are so excited to again partner with the Tarpon Springs Police Department during the holiday season. I can’t say enough about the Police Department for so generously donating their time and energy to this most worthy cause!”
For more information on Kids Wish Network’s programs, please visit their website at www.kidswishnetwork.org. If you know of a facility that could benefit from Kids Wish Network’s Holiday of Hope Gift Bank Program, please call (727) 937-3600 or toll free at (888) 918-9004.
Written by: Editorial Staff