Winter is fast approaching. Many families in the community will not have the means to keep their kids warm as they head to school or to the playground for the safe and friendly winter fun of sledding and other winter activities. It's even harder for the community's foster children.

The Cedar Rapids Police Department (CRPD) participates in an annual program called Santa Cop.

Winter necessities for kids in need

That's the basic premise of the program. Officers from the CRPD meet up with or escort foster and adopted children to a local store to shop for these items, free of charge to the children. It also assists these heroic foster parents with one less thing for them to worry about. The next event will be Monday, November 22 at the Target store on Blairs Ferry Rd. NE in Cedar Rapids from 1-7 p.m.

A CRPD press release says foster children are this year's focus

Approximately 100 children will be assisted on Monday from foster homes and adopted families. The Cedar Rapids Police Protective Charity is the official organization spearheading the event as they do with a Cops and Kids Back to School Event every year.

You can still donate to Santa Cop

Whether it helps this time around or in another instance, you can donate to the effort and all donations will be tax-deductible. If you're looking for a way to make a real difference this holiday season in the lives and children and to foster positive relationships between officers and the public, visit the Cedar Rapids Police Protective Charity on their website or mail donations to CRPC, 505 1st St. SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404, Attn: Officer Charity Hansel.

Make the season bright (and warm) for kids who need it most.

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