Carmel Police Dept. launches Holidays with Heroes program

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The Carmel Police Dept. wants to make Christmas a little brighter for children from financially struggling families.

The department will conducts its inaugural Holidays with Heroes program Dec. 7. Officers will be matched with a child in need and go to Meijer to do holiday shopping for coats, clothes and toys, said CPD Sgt. Nancy Zellers, the program coordinator and a member of the department’s growth and wellness development program. The morning starts with a hot breakfast for the officers and children. Hot chocolate and cookies will follow shopping at the police department. The items will be wrapped during that session. The child will go home with wrapped gifts and a holiday stocking.

Carmel-based Shamrock Self Storage, the program’s primary sponsor, pledged $100 for each lease signed during the months of September and October to assist with the Holidays With Heroes program. Bruce Sklare from Shamrock Self Storage presented a $4,100 check to the program Oct. 2 for September. A second check for October-signed leases will be given in November.

CPD Lt. James Semester said 68 children from more than 30 families are expected to participate in this year’s program. Based on the need, the department has raised its goal to $17,000. As of Oct. 2, the program had raised $5,898.

Applications have been shared with families from school resource officers, school counselors and the Carmel Youth Assistance Program.

“The schools had a contest to design a logo for it in the spring,” Zellers said.

The logo was drawn by Ankita Dey from Creekside Middle School, who earned $100 for the winning logo. The contest gathered entries from the three Carmel Clay Schools’ middle schools.

Meijer and the Carmel Youth Assistance Program have lent help for the event, which CPD wants to become annual.

Donations will help pay for gift cards, breakfast items, refreshments and stocking stuffers. Donations can be dropped off to CPD with “Holidays with Heroes” in the check memo line or mailed to Ann Gallagher, Carmel Police Dept., 3 Civic Square, Carmel, IN, 46032. For more, email agallagher@carmel.in.gov.

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