Sunday, February 05, 2023

'Holidays and Heroes' creates Christmas for kids

by Sgt. Christie Wood
| November 15, 2010 8:00 PM

Holiday cheer and feelings of goodwill are upon us. Sadly, many in our community do not have basic items of food or clothing, let alone the opportunity to feel the joy of Christmas.

This year as in years past, the Spokane County Sheriff's Department, Post Falls Police Department, Kootenai County Sheriff's Department, Coeur d'Alene Police Department, Coeur d'Alene Tribal Police, Kootenai County Fire & Rescue, Rathdrum Police Department, Spirit Lake Police Department, Idaho State Police, Coeur d'Alene firefighters, and numerous volunteers are proud to join together and participate in the "Holidays and Heroes" program.

Police officers and firefighters volunteer their time to make this event special and are happy to work in partnership with businesses, civic groups, and citizens in the region to make a needy child's Christmas a little bit brighter.

The agencies will be following the same format as in prior years in which several police officers and firefighters from Spokane, Coeur d'Alene, Post Falls, Rathdrum and Kootenai County take children shopping for the day.

Children's names are provided to the organizers by School Resource Officers, school counselors, patrol officers, deputy sheriffs or firemen who have come into contact with a needy child during this last year.

The event begins on Dec. 19 with children being picked up at their home by a police officer in a patrol car. The children are driven to Walmart locations in the Spokane Valley or in Post Falls. Police and firemen take the children through the store picking out Christmas gifts for the children and their families. Last year, there were about 100 police and firemen shopping at the same time with 100 children.

After the shopping is complete, the children are taken back to the Coeur d'Alene Greyhound Park to visit with Santa. The Greyhound Park facility is provided free of charge for the event. While the children are meeting Santa, volunteers wrap their presents and prepare a large food basket for their family.

At the end of the day, the officers load the presents and food into their patrol cars and take the children home. All of the officers and firemen participating are volunteering their time on their day off. There will still be a regular shift of officers and firefighters covering the normal patrol duties in Spokane and Kootenai County.

Holidays and Heroes is accepting cash donations and food items which can be dropped off at Spokane County Sheriff's Office desk at 1100 W. Mallon Ave., and the Valley office of 12710 E. Sprague, Post Falls Police Department at 1717 E. Polston Ave., Kootenai County Sheriffs Department at 5500 N. Government Way, Rathdrum Police Department at 8178 W. Main St., the Coeur d'Alene Police Department at 3818 Schreiber Way, and Kootenai County Fire Administration Office at 5271 E. Seltice Way.

The more donations provided, the more needy children we can put on our shopping list. Police and fire departments will be participating in upcoming food drive events in Spokane and Coeur d'Alene. Citizens are asked to make a food or cash donation at these events.

Holidays and Heroes has been a joyful experience for the kids involved. We hope it is even bigger and better this year with the continued support of our communities. All of the agencies participating would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.

Sergeant Christie Wood is the public information officer for the Coeur d'Alene Police Department.

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