Monday, December 28, 2009

It's A Wrap! CCSO Helped Make Holiday Season Festive and Safe

CCSO participates in many programs to help Collier residents in need for the holidays. In addition to recent successful events as Celebrate with a Star, Adopt A Soldier and Feed Collier, here are just a few ways deputies helped families celebrate:

CCSO Crime Prevention Specialist Susan Gentry organized the fifth annual Shop with a Cop event, which was sponsored by the Collier County Police Activity League (PAL).

The event helped 37 children living in the Everglades area or staying at Youth Haven by taking them out to breakfast and gift shopping.

The day started out at the Coastland Center mall in Naples, where the kids enjoyed a Chick-Fil-A breakfast with Santa Claus and the Chick-Fil-A cow. After breakfast the children were paired off with CCSO deputies and went on a shopping spree at K-Mart, 4383 U.S. 41 North, Naples.

PAL teamed up with the Everglades Community Safety Team, and several of the CST members joined in on the fun and provided transportation for the kids.

In addition, Sheriff Kevin J. Rambosk and members of PAL attended the annual Christmas party at Youth Haven. The shelter was provided with a PlayStation, 14 games along with extra wireless controls and memory cards.

PAL works on receiving donations throughout the year for the Shop with a Cop event. For more information, contact Gentry at 239-252-0708.

Deputies also teamed up with the Guadalupe Center, 509 Hope Circle, Immokalee, for an entire week in December to provide gifts and safety information to needy families.

CCSO deputies and members of the Immokalee Fire Department assisted 25 families and wrapped over 150 gifts.

Immokalee deputies also participated in Operation Angel Tree for the eighth year. Organized by the First Baptist Church of Naples, 3000 Orange Blossom Drive, North Naples, as part of a prison ministries program, Operation Angel Tree identified two families that had a parent currently in jail and asked if CCSO would assist with providing holiday gifts to the children.

Immokalee COPS deputies Cpl. Wendell Davis, Cpl. Ana Russell and Cpl. Michael Taylor met with both families and provided the children with wrapped presents. Pictures were taken of the families and forwarded to the incarcerated parent, letting them know their family experienced Christmas this year.

Above photo: Human Resources Specialist Deann Miller and her daughter Taite help out during the Shop with a Cop event. Photo courtesy of Susan Gentry.

Middle photo: Immokalee deputies Cpl. Wendell Davis and Cpl. Ana Russell visit one of the families they assisted during Operation Angel Tree.

Bottom photo: Lt. Rene Gonzales hands out safety information to families attending the Guadalupe Center's holiday event.

Photos courtesy of Cpl. Michael Taylor