Cornelius, NC - As the countdown to Christmas continues, CMPD officers are busy collecting and sorting donations for their explorers toy drive, and today some retired marines had a special delivery to contribute to the cause.
Members of the Marine Corps League loaded more than thirty bikes onto a truck for the police department’s annual toy drive.
“This is something that we’ve never had before so the Marine Corps league has stepped up big time to help out the program,” said CMPD Officer Chris Kopp.
Vietnam War veteran Warren Kurtz, nicknamed “Bud,” says many employees from duke energy pitched in.
“The individuals have donated most of these bicycles and many, many toys, and so we’re very appreciative of their efforts,” said Kurtz.
Nine-year old Ryanne bird also stepped up, as she donated an additional 16 bikes, bringing the total to 47.
“I want to do this so the kids would have more things to play with and be active,” said Ryanne.
Throughout the year, she raised $500, which the tide company then matched. She used that money to purchase most of the bikes, with a few additional ones donated from classmates.
“I hope that there really happy because it should be their first bike but they've ever had,” said Ryanne.
Officer Copp says there’s a list of kids recommended to receive these bikes and toys. Among them are elementary school students on free-or-reduced lunch and young victims police officers and firefighters think could use a little holiday cheer.
“If we’re at the scene of the homicide or if the house burns down, we take those families on as well all the children making sure everybody's taken care of for the holiday season,” said Kopp. “A lot of these families will have hand-me-down bikes and start to break and unfortunately some of these families can’t afford to repair and fix them so to be receiving a brand-new bike means the world to a kid who can finally go outside again and get active.”
“I can picture a lot of kids with a big grin on their face Christmas morning and that's how we get paid, in smiles,” said Kurtz.
CMPD officers will personally deliver these bikes to kids across the charlotte area on December 19th.