There seems to be something magical that comes with reaching 16, whether it’s a teenager getting a driver’s license or a college basketball team reaching the Sweet 16. That magical spirit is shared by Prosper’s Cops with a Claus holiday gift program, as it celebrates its sixteenth anniversary.
“It’s certainly something to celebrate,” says Assistant Police Chief Gary McHone. “I’m not sure if those of us who started this 16 years ago would have thought we’d be celebrating this milestone.”
The Cops with a Claus program, administered and run by the Police Department, provides assistance to families in financial need by presenting them with a gift card that can be used in grocery stores, department stores or a variety of merchants. The program always coincides with the Christmas season.
To commemorate the anniversary, the department is hoping to raise enough money to help at least 16 families.
“Members of the department gather funds through year-round fund-raisers and by accepting financial donations from anyone who wants to help,” he said. “We then use that money to purchase the gift cards.” The newly-formed volunteer Police Chaplain Unit, composed of four local pastors, will assist with this year’s program.
Applications for the gift cards are gathered, then a group of community volunteers select the families to receive the holiday grants. The amount of each grant will depend on the amount of financial support collected, but the goal is to raise $250 for each recipient family.
Several Prosper ISD schools participate in the program by helping identify potential recipients.
“Prosper’s legendary generosity helps the program tremendously,” he said. “We accept donations from individuals and businesses in the surrounding area to helps us, and we’re hoping this year is extra special,” said the Chief.
Tax-deductible donations in any amount will be accepted until Dec. 6. Individuals, families and businesses may drop off their donations at either Prosper Town Hall, 121 W. Broadway, or at the Police Dispatch office, 101 S. Main. Mailed contributions should be addressed to Cops with a Claus, Prosper Police Department, P.O. Box 307, Prosper, TX 75078. Checks should be made out to Cops with a Claus.
“The Cops with a Claus program lets people share their good fortune anonymously,” he added. It’s a very special way we express the statement that Prosper is a place where everyone matters.”