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Christmas Magic

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 92, along with community members, donated presents to needy Putnam County children Wednesday. Present were, front from left, Kedrick Coon, who helped with the deliveries, Darcy Hendershot, Mike Collins, Jerrod Baugh and Brian Hopkins; Back, Sharon Bone and Lora Zoll of Ivy Tech, Emily Peek, Santa Claus, Jason Baugh of the Morgan County Sheriff's department, Jeremiah Gillam and Nick Eastham. Peek, Gillam and Jerrod Baugh are all members of the Indiana Excise Police.
GREENCASTLE -- For the past decade, the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 92 has, with the help of community donations, provided Putnam County children who might not have had any gifts otherwise with presents. Last Wednesday, when the FOP officers delivered the presents, one of those sources of aid was a 7-year-old boy who tagged along for the deliveries.

Kendra Coon, a friend of Greencastle Police Department (GPD) Assistant Chief Brian Hopkins, said her family has donated to the charity in the past. This year, Hopkins had a unique offer for her son, Kedrick Coon.

"Brian had asked Kedrick 'Hey, would you like to ride along and pass out presents?' and Kedrick said sure. I had later asked Brian, 'Why don't you give us one of the names and we'll do the shopping our self for the boy,'" Kendra Coon said.

Brian Hopkins, Mike Collins and Sharon Bone pack the car to deliver the donations.
Kendra Coon said her son spent his own money on the boy they received. She also said she was proud of her son.

"We had that little boy's name for a month and Kedrick did a lot of the shopping for him," Kendra Coon said.

Kedrick Coon said he sort of wanted to spend that money on himself, but spent it on someone else because it was a good thing to do.

"It's nice and because I knew that they needed a bunch of toys because they didn't have any," Kedrick Coon said.

Kendra Coon also said it was nice for her son to be able to put a face with the name of whom the family helped.

Hopkins, the GPD Assistant Chief, said he hoped to have more children involved in the deliveries because it went well this year.

The FOP has been handing these gifts out for around 10 years. Hopkins said that there are 30 children receiving gifts this year, the most since donations started. The FOP was able to do that because of an increased number of donations from the community.

Jason Baugh rides one of the bicycles donated to the program.
"I don't know why (we're getting more donations)," Hopkins said. "Last year we got a few donations and I think its just word of mouth. People would come in and say 'Oh, such and such said they dropped off money and I thought that was a good idea so I did too.' That's just how it goes."

Hopkins explained that a loved one first nominated the children who received gifts.

"A parent or legal guardian comes into the PD and they fill out an application to be on the list," Hopkins said. "Then that application is checked to make sure they're not on any other, such as the Giving Tree. We try to check to make sure they are in fact needy. If they pass all of that, we try our best to put them on the list."

Hopkins said the FOP had to reduce the 45 kids who had a loved one apply to a little over 30, based on the amount of funding they received this year. They do this by determining which children are most in need of such gifts.

"We try to do it that way, most needy to least," he said.

Hopkins said the members of the FOP are glad to be able to help the community.

"We've been doing this for a little over 10 years now. It goes for a good cause and there are plenty of needy people, especially with the economy and people losing jobs. We try to do our best to help people out as much as we can," Hopkins said.

Hopkins said he hopes the number of donations they receive keeps increasing, so the number of donations can increase, too.

"This year was probably our busiest year in terms of kids. Next year I'm sure we'll get even more," he said.

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It is so great to see young children involved in these type of organizations.

-- Posted by Nit on Mon, Dec 27, 2010, at 7:43 AM

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