Law enforcement personnel in Door and Kewaunee Counties begin taking on the role of Santa Claus this month. Members of the Door County Sheriff’s Department and Sturgeon Bay Police Department will help serve lunch and dinner at the Sturgeon Bay Culver’s next Wednesday as a part of the Lights of Christmas campaign, which raises money for gift cards and other necessities for deserving families. Both Door and Kewaunee Counties host their own Chop n’ Shop-with-a-Cop events while Sheriff Matt Joski anchors two other holiday campaigns, including the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Drive. Joski says it is important for the public to see law enforcement personnel in a different light.
The programs help support hundreds of families every year.
FROM SHERIFF MATT JOSKI
I know that I had stated that this week’s article would continue my summary of the operations here at the Sheriff’s Department, but I want to take a moment to bring awareness to a few campaigns which are currently underway in an effort to increase support of those programs as we get closer to Christmas. These programs are not those that you will receive an electronic voice message from soliciting money, or the types that you will be flooded with mass mailings asking you to send your money to distance places. These are programs which are happening right here in our community to help those right here in our community.
The first of these programs is our annual “Shop with a Cop” program. Each year we here in Law Enforcement work with the local school districts to identify a few children whose families could use an extra bit of help. We then contact these families and ask that they allow us to spend a day shopping for gifts not just for that child but for that child’s family as well. It is a humbling experience to shop alongside a child who rather than running towards the toys or electronic games, heads over to the clothing section to get Dad some socks, or to get Mom a new jacket. This is also a great opportunity for these children to see law enforcement in a way that most don’t have the opportunity to see. While our local law enforcement officers volunteer their time and donate many items themselves to make this day successful, we also count on donations to assist in our efforts. If you would like to donate to this cause, just give a call to the Sheriff’s Department.
The second program that has been in our county for over two decades is the annual Toys for Tots campaign. This one holds a special place in my heart as it is sponsored by the United States Marine Corp Reserve. In this program, boxes are placed throughout Kewaunee County and on December 21st these toys will be handed out for children whose parents have pre-registered as residence of Kewaunee County. There are many great organizations and businesses that help in making this program such a success year after year. To assist in this program, please drop off a new unwrapped toy at any of the drop off sites.
The third program which actually assists residents of our county throughout the year is our local Salvation Army Kettle Campaign. Just like you I have seen these kettles over the many years at various places during the Christmas season. Sometimes I dropped some money into them and sometimes I walked by them. Only until I began as a voucher writer for the Salvation Army did I realize the importance of this charitable organization and the importance of these kettles. Throughout the year, myself along with other voucher writers here in Kewaunee County receive calls from people who have lost jobs, experienced unforeseen medical costs or have just found themselves in a place of need. We assist with Rent, Utilities, Food, Gas and other basic essential needs to help get them through the crisis they may be facing. To assist in this program you can of course take a moment to drop some money into the kettles located at various stops throughout the county. You can also give of your time to ring bells at these sites as the likelihood of giving increases when these kettles are staffed rather than just sitting idle in a corner of the store entrance. It is a great way to spend time for a good cause and visit with people as they are giving. To volunteer for this program at the Kewaunee and Luxemburg kettle locations, just go to: www.registertoring.com and follow the links to Kewaunee County. To volunteer at the Algoma Kettle locations, please contact Jerry Guth at: (920)487-5491
If you have questions on any of these programs, please do not hesitate to contact me, and I can steer you in the right direction. Just like shopping locally has the best impact for our communities, giving locally also provides the best results for those here in Kewaunee County.