Creating a personalized gingerbread house is just one of the fun activities families will enjoy during the annual Christmas with a Cop in Riverdale event.
The fifth annual Christmas with a Cop program in Riverdale is being dedicated to the memory of a long-time volunteer.
Riverdale Police Lt. Nicole Rabel said this year's event is being held in memory of Felisha Brown. Brown was a teacher at Riverdale Middle School, who volunteered her time with the city. "Outside of the public safety aspect of the program, she embodied the foundational reason Christmas with a Cop exists," said Rabel. "The spirit of giving to others for the sole purpose of uplifting them. Clearly, she did this not only as a volunteer, but also as a teacher."
Brown died unexpectedly in March. Rabel said Brown's family approved of the event’s dedication.
The fifth annual program is co-sponsored by the Riverdale Police Department, the Clayton County Board of Education/Church Street Elementary, the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office, and Riverdale Wal-Mart.
Rabel said donations are being accepted to help nine families, who have experienced a tragic crime, fire, or life-altering incident, have a better Christmas.
"We are the facilitators for these families to experience a day of fun, and receive much-needed items, as well as fun gifts that lighten the spirit," she said.
Donated items can be dropped off by Dec. 1, at the Riverdale Police Department on Church Street, during regular business hours. Rabel said she will pick up items, if necessary.
There are several ways the public can help this year: through donations of gas cards, Wal-Mart gift cards, canned or perishable food; new or gently used toys, books and board games; new blankets, sheets, towels, washcloths, toiletries and cleansers; laptops, Leap Frog-or V-Tech-learning systems
Rabel said a Christmas tree can be sponsored for a $40 donation, or any monetary donation can be given toward the total program. Finally, a specific family can be sponsored from a list provided by Rabel.
• In the "gold" family, the grandmother needs baking supplies. The children are two boys, 13 and 11, and two girls, both 8. All four kids need coats and shoes. The boys asked for laptops, electric scooters, remote control cars and a PlayStation 3. The girls asked for keyboards to practice piano lessons, bikes with training wheels, scooters, dolls, Zuzu pets and games for a Nintendo DS.
• In the "green" family, the mother asked for a laptop for school, size extra small tops and size 1 pants, and size 7 shoes. Her daughter, 10 months old, needs educational toys, a Jeep and a baby doll. Her clothes are size 18 months and her shoe size is 4.
• In the "purple" family, seven girls, ages 12-3, all need clothes and shoes. Three 5-year-olds asked for a bike. The family also needs Dove sensitive-skin cleansers, bed linens, hair bows, socks and underwear and pajamas and robes.
• The "red and silver" family consists of a mother, who needs a coat, clothes and shoes; a father who needs the same, and is a Philadelphia Eagles fan; a boy, 14, who needs clothes, a coat and shoes, food, scooter, books and math workbooks; a boy, 11, who is a Falcons fan and needs clothes, coat and shoes, scooter and books; and a girl, 4, who needs clothes, coat and shoes, and wants toys featuring Dora, iCarly, Princess Tiana, SpongeBob, a scooter and books.
• The "chocolate" family's mom needs a Bible, iPod or MP3 player, clothes, coat and shoes. The father wants an iPod or MP3 player, clothes, coat and shoes. A boy, 10, wants a remote control car, bike, clothes and a coat, and shoes. A girl, 8, asked for a Baby Alive, scooter and clothes. A boy, 4, asked for a remote control car, scooter, clothes, coat and shoes. They need their electric bill paid, food, cleaning supplies and toiletries. They want board games.
• The "red and white" family's mother wants a laptop, clothes, juicer, coat and shoes. The father needs a job he can hold while attending school, an office chair with cushion, PlayStation 3, clothes, coat and shoes.
Two girls, 16, need clothes, coats and shoes, preferably Nike or Michael Jordan brand, laptop, iPod, music and perfume. A girl, 8, needs clothes, coat and shoes, bike, puzzles, iCarly, camera, phone, iPad, and games. A boy, 4, wants a basketball, bike with training wheels, boots or shoes, clothes, guitar, pillow, basketball hoop, play computer, play phone and drums.
The family needs bed linens and household items, and would like a minivan and six dressers.
• The "pink" family's mother wants Beyonce's Heat perfume, pink or purple digital camera, clothes and shoes. There are four girls in the family, ages 14-1. They all need clothes, shoes and coats, and would like a variety of toys and bikes.
The "blue" family's mom's favorite color is pink. She needs clothes and shoes. Three boys, 11-3, need clothes, shoes and coats. The oldest boy wants a bike, alarm clock and CD player, The middle boy wants an alarm clock, football and roller blades. The younger one wants a Big Wheel, interactive music books, educational and kids DVD movies, Elmo toys and blocks.
Information on more specific needs can be provided by Rabel. She can be reached at (770) 909-5416, or by e-mail at email@example.com.