The Friday is upon us.
You know what I'm talking about. Personally, I have always been more of a Buy Nothing Day person than a Black Friday person. Sorry shoppers, but the crowds, the consumerism, and the chaos are a big turn off for me no matter how cheap that TV is.
However, for those who just can't say no to a sale, I'd like to offer a compromise. Rather than just buying everything in sight for your friends and family, why not buy something for a child or a teen in need? Think of it as Give Something Day.
On Wednesday, I got an e-mail about the police and Christmas Unlimited's toy drive for kids and teens. While I usually frown on Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving, I found it really touching that these guys were gearing up this early. Why not help them out? Donate that iPad that you waited six hours in line for. Make some kid smile.
Or, if you're like me and hate a crowd, go online and donate to a worthy charity. (Our Give! campaign is always a good bet.) Across the world, bellies are going empty, wars are being fought, and people are suffering. It's surprising how far a few dollars can go toward making the world a better place.
That's what Christmas is about, right?
The Colorado Springs Police Department would like to announce the kick off of our Annual Christmas Toy Drive in partnership with Christmas Unlimited and Teens with Promise. Our department has participated in 22 previous toy drives, and for the last eleven years we have collaborated with Christmas Unlimited in a very successful partnership. We are very excited to begin our third year of partnering with Teens with Promise as we continue to assist many of the youth over age 13 that may be forgotten this time of year.
Beginning this Friday and continuing through Christmas Day, collection boxes will be in the lobbies of each of our stations. Citizens interested in donating may drop off new unwrapped gifts in the collection boxes any time of the day or night. The gifts donated will be delivered to Christmas Unlimited and Teens with Promise.
Established in 1923, Christmas Unlimited is one of the oldest and most respected charities in the Pikes Peak Region. Christmas Unlimited believes the spirit of the holidays is more than just giving toys to children. They believe a family's adults need both material and emotional support during times of financial difficulty and everyone deserves to be treated with compassion and dignity. Christmas Unlimited works hard to uplift parental self-esteem by providing a service that includes a simple application process and a store-like distribution experience, contributing to a family environment of caring, togetherness and old fashioned holiday happiness. If you know a child who may qualify for the holiday gift distribution program please contact Christmas Unlimited at 719-597-1821 for information on their program.
Teens with Promise, a local non-profit dedicated to helping disadvantaged teens build resiliency and positive self-esteem, is also teaming up with the Colorado Springs Police Department for this gift drive. Gifts needed include C/D players, MP3 players, art supplies, electronics, gift cards, makeup, hair accessories, hoodies and jeans. Teens with Promise created the holiday gift drive after noticing that many local agencies provided gifts for younger children but very few collected gifts for kids over age 13. Eligible teens will visit the Teens with Promise “Santa’s Shop” to select a gift. “It is much more meaningful for a teen to pick a gift that they personally would enjoy, versus receiving a pre-selected gift by someone who does not know them,” the organization explains. If you know a teen who may qualify for the holiday gift program, you may download an application online at www.teenswithpromise.com or see the teen’s middle or high school counselor. Please call 719-266-0106 if you have any questions for them.
In addition to these programs, members of the Colorado Springs Police Department, through their daily work routine, will be identifying families who may not have the resources to provide Christmas gifts for their children. As is our tradition, Colorado Springs Police Officers and Colorado Springs Explorer Cadets along with “Santa” will deliver gifts to these children on December 19th. In 2010, the CSPD delivered gifts to approximately 350 children in the Colorado Springs area during the holiday season. Please do not contact the Colorado Springs Police Department to request a delivery of gifts.