CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - School is out and kids are off to enjoy the summer now, but this is a time when your help is needed most to prepare for the next school year.
On Monday, CMPD kicked off its summer book drive, and this year, FOX 46 Charlotte is partnering with them to get results.
Stuffed animals, books and badges: CMPD officers are sorting through their goodies, already getting ready for the next school year.
Officer Chad Webster and his fellow officers read to young kids at schools in low income areas, handing out books, and stuffed animals.
“[We] kind of plant that very first seed of positive police interaction with a child,” Officer Chad said.
The Bears Behind the Badges program began after Officer Webster partnered with Chrissy Elder, a former teacher who saw many kids didn’t have books at home. Many of them also resented police, and didn’t they also deeply resented police.
“I noticed that kids were very afraid of my husband who was a police officer and I wanted to come up with an idea that he was there to help them,” Elder said.
Everything is donated, and the officers go through each book to make sure they’re appropriate. The stuffed animals are cleaned by a local cleaner.
“Each one of the animals, we get to tag with a bears behind the badge tag. University partners bought these tags for us,” Officer Chad said.
But they can’t help the kids without your help, that’s why they are calling on you to make a donation.
“If we don’t have donations we can’t get in front of these kids,” Elder said.
“Without the community supporting what we’re doing, we can’t do it,” Officer Chad said.
Drop off locations include the Catalyst Building in Uptown, the University Division CMPD Precinct, and The Comedy Zone at the Music Factory.
If your business or organization wants to get involved, we urge you to put up a collection box, just let the folks at CMPD through the Waves of Change Facebook page.