By Jim Newell
The holiday season is fast approaching and the deputies at the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and police officers of the Lake Orion Police Department want to ensure that some children in the Orion area aren’t left out in the cold this Christmas.
Both agencies are once again participating in the Shop with a Hero program, providing area kids who may not otherwise have a festive holiday with a shopping spree to buy gifts, clothes or other items.
But the police need a little help from the community – neither department turns away a child who qualifies for Shop with a Hero, and both take requests up to the day of the event.
This year, Shop with a Hero is Dec. 12.
The deputies at the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Orion Twp. Substation will once again be at Meijer in Oxford to take kids shopping. The deputies (and Meijer) give kids $150 shopping cards for the event and have collected donations, but could use a little more assistance, said Lt. Dan Toth, commander of the substation.
“We can use help with several more Meijer gift cards. If anyone wishes to assist with a Meijer gift card, please drop it off at the Sheriff’s Orion Township Station prior to Dec. 4. Any amount Meijer gift card will go towards $150 for each child who deputies will host the night of the event. Any additional cards will be passed on directly by the deputies on the streets to needy folks in the community around the holiday season!” Toth said.
The Orion Twp. Substation is in Township Hall, 2525 Joslyn Rd.
The Lake Orion Police Department and Friends Shop with a Hero returns to the Target on Brown Road in Auburn Hills for their event, and Police Chief Jerry Narsh wants to ensure that no child in need is left out.
“This is our favorite event of the year. Our mission has never changed. We are challenged to reach every Orion area elementary school age child that needs our help to ensure Christmas is a magical and happy time of year. We will reach out to families that need a little help, and also any child who has suffered a serious illness, trauma or emotional difficulty that could diminish their joy at this time of year,” Narsh said.
Anyone who would like to donate to the LOPD program can drop off or mail checks to the LOPD at 21 E. Church St. Lake Orion, MI 48362.
The LOPD also accepts online donations at http://PayPal.me/LOPAShopwithahero.
This year, the LOPD is partnering with M&B Graphics to create a special Shop with a Hero t-shirt. The first 100 people who walk into the LOPD office and donate $50 or more will receive a blue t-shirt with superhero graphics and a slogan that reads, “I am a hero’s hero.”
Anthony Reighard, owner of M&B Graphics, donated the shirts and printing.
“I’ve got great community partners…there’s no way we can do it alone,” Narsh said. “It’s a good economy right now, but it’s not a good economy for everyone. So, anyone who wants to donate to our program, we greatly appreciate it.”
The Lake Orion Police Association also sets aside some of the money it raises throughout the year to assist with the program, Narsh said.
Area resident Stacy Blaine will also run “The Giving Table” at Shop with a Hero, so kids can pick out a present for a sibling who may be too young or too old for the program. The LOPD program focuses on elementary school children, Narsh said.
“If you know of a family or elementary school-aged child who would benefit from our program, please call me at 248-693-8323 and I will personally review every consideration and request,” Narsh said.