Shop with a Cop was canceled months ago, but local police departments are still making sure local kids in need get a gift this Christmas.
Businesses and school districts are also getting in on the giving tree action to provide kids some cheer during what will be a modified Christmas experience in 2020.
The Aberdeen Police Department tree went up Nov. 23, the flooring work in the lobby of the Hoquiam Police Department was done, and a tree donated by Lane Youmans was in the process of getting set up. The Elma police and fire departments announced their giving tree project Nov. 24.
On these trees are ornaments, each with a “wish” from a local child. The public is encouraged to come in, grab an ornament, and purchase the item on that ornament. Return the item to the police department, and it will be wrapped and delivered.
“This has been a difficult year for a lot of people and we are thrilled to get to help some of our local families in need,” said Becca Anderson, Aberdeen Police Department Administrative Coordinator.
Anderson said you don’t have to come in to pick an ornament yourself.
“If you want to participate but don’t want to come in, send us a message on Facebook or contact the department and we can send you one of the needs,” she said. “Money donations are also accepted, and all funds will go toward purchasing needs for the families.”
Monetary donations to the wishing tree in Hoquiam can be made to the Hoquiam Police Officer’s Association
Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Meyers said the department was awarded a $5,000 grant from the Grays Harbor Community Foundation to bolster its efforts, which were announced in September after it was determined the usual Shop with a Cop event, which brought dozens of kids together for a breakfast and a ride in emergency vehicles to Walmart for a $100 shopping spree, would not take place because of COVID concerns.
The Montesano Police Department got the names of five local kids in need from the school district, using the usual Shop with a Cop process for selecting kids.
In Elma, visit the police department lobby between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily to select an ornament. Return the gift to the station by 4 p.m. Dec. 17 for distribution.
Local businesses and school districts are doing their own giving trees as well. The Simpson Avenue Grill in Hoquiam set up theirs late in November for kids and seniors, and kids from Catholic Community Services programs. The McCleary School District has a giving tree, accepting unwrapped gifts through Dec. 14. Call the district ahead of time, 360-495-3204, to come into the lobby, or call to arrange a donation without having to come to the district office.
Pub Monte in Montesano’s gifting tree saw 167 local kids “adopted,” according to restaurant owner Brooke Hoiness. Those who selected ornaments from the tree can buy up to two gifts and bring them wrapped back to the restaurant.
“It was crazy how it took off,” said Hoiness. “We are so happy with our community and that everyone has come together to adopt that many kiddos.”
On Dec. 21, the gifts will be delivered via rental van made available by Jason Atwood of Oly Pen Realty.
Each location has its own requirements for gifts. Check with each to make sure your gift can be collected and distributed to the appropriate recipient.