The Smithville Police Department joined with Santa Clause last week during a visit to the Head Start for their annual “Cops4kids” program. Each year, the department works with Cash Express and other partners to collect and distribute toys for Head Start kids. The department delivered toys to more than 60 children Friday morning as part of the program.
On December 15, the Smithville Head Start Center was treated to some holiday music by the Collins family, while Ryan Huling of the New Life United Pentecostal Church shared the Christmas story. Police Chief Mark Collins, and members of the police department, made sure each child had a bag of toys.
Santa made an appearance and visited with the children, along with Smithville Mayor Josh Miller and Alderman and Police Commissioner Shawn Jacobs.
The “Cops4Kids” program began in 2012 and has served Smithville Head Start children with gifts at Christmas time since 2015.
“We put out the collection boxes at local businesses for toys, nonperishable food, clothing and money jars in addition to our annual Fill the Cop Car and Bake Sale event. The toys and money to buy toys are then given to the police department to be distributed to head start kids and others while the food collected goes to God’s Food Pantry. God’s Grace Ministries gets from us used toys, coats, clothes, etc,” said Athena Knauer of Cash Express.
“Thanks to the generosity of the community, the collection effort is so successful that it gives organizers a leg up for the following year’s event. We have raised over $3,000 in monetary donations this year so we will soon go with Beth Adcock, records clerk at the police department, to purchase gifts for the head start for next year. For others needing help we also buy clothes, toys, etc. for them,” said Knauer.
“The department has enjoyed its partnership with Cash Express and a special lady in particular, Evelyn Woods, who donates gifts throughout the year. We are truly grateful for her support”, Chief Collins added.