HOPE — More than a dozen grade-school children and preteens from at-risk families will have happier holidays this year thanks to the eighth annual Hope Cops Christmas for Kids.

When the charity began in 2006, officers from the northeast Bartholomew County community would take kids holiday shopping at small discount stores with limited selections, Hope town marshal Matt Tallent said.

However, the young recipients have enjoyed a much large selection over the past four years — and organizers have welcomed significant discounts — due to the cooperation of the Target department store, Tallent said.

By the time officers and kids board a school bus for their Sunday shopping excursion to Columbus, organizers are hopeful they will have raised enough money to provide $200 in assistance to each child, the marshal said.

About $1,500 has come in so far, with another $500 needed to hit this year’s $2,000 goal, Tallent said.

With 13 children signed up, that’s not yet enough to allow each child to spend $200.

The marshal said the generous residents of Flat Rock and Hawcreek townships have never let them down before in supporting the program.

“I’m still hoping to hit that $2,000 mark,” Tallent said Thursday, with a little money left over from last year’s campaign that can also be utilized.

Hope Cops Christmas for Kids is also providing full turkey dinners to the disabled and fixed-income seniors in their community, the marshal said.

In order to assist more northeast Bartholomew County residents, the charity has added an additional method of fundraising by established a Go Fund Me page for the first time, Tallent said. A link can found on the Facebook page of the Hope Police Department.

“Somehow, we’ve always been able to do it,” Tallent said.

Although there are similar countywide assistance programs, several town leaders have frequently noted that people in Hope take great pride in lending a helping hand to their own.

In addition, Hope Cops Christmas for Kids establishes positive relationships between kids at a greater risk of getting into trouble and the officers who most often deal with problems.

Frequently, the children being helped demonstrate their own generosity.

“We expect these kids get things for themselves, but there have been a number of times when they buy gifts for their parents,” the marshal said.

“This program has — and always will have — a very special place in my heart,” he said.

How to donate

A bus and driver provided by the Flat Rock-Hawcreek School Corp. will provide round-trip transportation Sunday for officers and qualified Hope area children to the Target department store in Columbus for the Hope Cops Christmas for Kids program.

Making a donation:

  • Checks may be dropped off at the Hope Police Department, 711 Harrison St.
  • A link to the Go Fund Me fundraising page can be found on the Hope Police Department’s Facebook page.

Information: 812-546-4015.

Author photo
Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.