Holiday Heroes receive $2,500 check

The Holiday Heroes program was presented with a $2,500 check on Oct. 3. Pictured from left to right are Wendy Sims with Schuring & Uitermarkt, Lieutenant Paul Haase, Justin Trenkamp, Wal-Mart Manager Andy O’Leary, Chad Klyn, Sonya Boot, Doug van Gorkom, Danielle Van Manen with Schuring & Uitermarkt, Police Chief Robert Bokinsky and Lieutenant Bret Haupert.

The Holiday Heroes program was presented with a $2,500 check from Walmart to help buy Christmas presents for 30 children in the community this year.

Officers from the Pella Police Department are partnering with the Pella Fire Department and Schuring and Uitermarkt for the third year to make the holidays happier for families in need. Students are nominated by teachers and guidance counselors in the school district.

“We tell the schools to choose kids who they feel will benefit from the program, whether that’s financially or a child that could just really use a hands up, or a child that they think will really enjoy interacting with the police department and the fire department,” said Lieutenant Paul Haase.

Every child will be provided between $120 to $125 and are encouraged to buy a personal item that will benefit them, whether it be a pair of gloves or a book. They are also encouraged to buy a gift for someone else in the family. The rest of their money can be used to buy whatever their heart desires.

The program also provides a personal gift bag to each child, including toothbrushes, shampoo and other items.

While the program receives money from a grant from Wal-Mart, they also receive donations from the community, organizations and businesses throughout the year. The police department also operates the program through the Pella Police Department Officers Association, a 501c3 non-profit organization.

Children will have the opportunity to shop at Wal-Mart on Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. If interested individuals would like to make a donation to the program, please contact Haase by email at phaase@cityofpella.com.

Emily Hawk can be reached at ehawk@pellachronicle.com or by calling the newsroom at 641-628-3882.

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