On Dec. 3, the Cranston Police Department, Community Outreach Division hosted its first “Cops and Kids Holiday Party” at the historic Park Theatre. In conjunction with Cranston Cares, a …
On Dec. 3, the Cranston Police Department, Community Outreach Division hosted its first “Cops and Kids Holiday Party” at the historic Park Theatre. In conjunction with Cranston Cares, a local nonprofit organization, and Comprehensive Community Action Plan (CCAP), they were able to give joy and toys to 50 Cranston families.
This event is now replacing the former “Shop with a Cop” program.
“By doing a family event, we can actually provide for more children, spend more time with them and do more fun things,” said Cranston Police Captain Justin Dutra, from the Community Outreach and Special Projects Division.
The day started off with donuts donated from local Dunkin shops, with kits for the children to decorate; the Park Theatre also provided food.
All the toys were purchased with funds raised by Cranston Cares and their donors. Board members shopped with $5,000. CPD Cares paid for food and other items through the sales of the patches.
Excitement built during the morning, waiting for Santa to arrive, and the opportunity to “shop” all the toys that were on display. Children were gifted small bags filled with candy, treats and each bag had a gift card for $50 to Walmart.
Once Santa arrived, and pictures were taken, a special green monster surprised the group. The Grinch was caught “green-handed” stealing a toy from the pile.
After his arrest, he apologized and promised to only be good and kind. He was then allowed to rejoin the party.
One parent, who asked not to be named, was particularly grateful.
“This is such a hard year for me. I had no idea how I was going to make Christmas happen. These people are true blessings to my family and the entire Cranston community,” they said.
At the end of the event, there was a special raffle to give away two bikes and two scooters.
“CCAP is so grateful for our partnership with the Cranston Police to put on this event along with our other community partners. To have the ability to help our clients at this time of year is truly priceless, always appreciated and valued. They went above and beyond with this event. It allowed the children a great holiday meal, a chance to meet Santa and gets lots of gifts. It was really nice to see the joy on the children’s faces while they attended the event,” said Kelci Conti, LMHC, Coordinator of Child Welfare, CCAP.
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