And on the 12th day before Christmas, Santa wore a blue uniform. Flossmoor police officers Monday filled their baskets with toys during a shopping spree at the village’s Meijer superstore.
And on the 12th day before Christmas, Santa wore a blue uniform.
Flossmoor police officers Monday filled their baskets with toys during a shopping spree at the village’s Meijer superstore.
It did not appear that the officers had a list, or were checking it twice, but they clearly had a goal in mind. They were purchasing items for the annual Toys for Tots program. Meijer made the shopping trip possible with a $1,700 donation to the national toy drive sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves.
“I love this kind of stuff,” said Officer David Levy, one of five department members shopping on Monday. “It’s a chance for us to give back to the community and it’s great to be able to do it during the holiday season. We all have to take into consideration people who are less fortunate than us. This makes us feel good, and proud to wear the uniform.”
Sgt. Clint Wagner, who is coordinating the local Toys for Tots collection, said it’s the second year the police department has taken part in the program. Police are again partnering to collect toys with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s Flossmoor office.
Last year’s collection was a success, Wagner said, and collection bins are again on site at both the police station and real estate agency. But Meijer’s involvement this year is “fantastic,” Wagner said.
“I asked the people at Meijer if they were willing to help,” he said. “They said, ‘We’ll do anything that your want.’”
Becky Beketic, the Flossmoor store director, explained that Meijer yearly donates 7 percent of local net profits to charitable organizations. Other area organizations in and around Flossmoor have also benefitted from Meijer’s donations, she said. The store sponsored a shopping trip for Respond Now last week, providing toys for the Chicago Heights social service agency.
Wagner approached the store with a request to put a Toys for Tots collection bin in the parking lot, Beketic said.
“I told him that we could be a great partner for the collection program,” she said.
All items collected through Toys for Tots will be distributed to less fortunate children in the Chicago metropolitan region. Interested persons can nominate families who need help by going to the Chicago Toys for Tots website.
Wagner said he was told that toys are needed for boys older than 10. So the officers concentrated on sports-related items, skateboards, Batman and Star Wars paraphernalia and other toys that would appeal to young people with a lot of energy.
“No guns,” said Police Chief Michael Pulec. “We don’t want any weapons.”
The entire shopping trip took less than a half hour. Meijer dedicated two checkout lanes to the officers and Wagner wondered if he should call Flossmoor’s Public Works Department for a truck to transport the toys back to the police station. Officers had planned to bring them back in their squad cars but realized they might need more room.
“It’s great that police officers are able to do this,” Pulec said. “We are grateful to Meijer for making this possible. All kids deserve toys at this time of year and this is making that possible for kids who are not as fortunate.”
Toys for Tots collects new items. Collection bins will be in place at the police station and Coldwell Banker, 1056 Sterling Ave., until Dec. 20. More information about Toys for Tots is available at www.chicago-il.toysfortots.org.