There’s nothing that compares to 1,300 grins on children’s faces as they walk out the door with renewed holiday spirit.
And that’s what happened Saturday at the Rengstorff Community Center when the Mountain View Police Department hosted its annual “Cops That Care” event. Over one thousand children shuffled into the center starting at 7 a.m. to catch a glimpse of Santa Claus and select some of their favorite toys to take home with them.
The event, which targets families who either live in Mountain View or who have children that go to school in Mountain View, helps those who may not be able to buy gifts during the holiday season. This year, “Cops That Care” received thousands of donations from the community, making the event something extra special for everyone involved.
“We were thrilled to be able to bring some holiday cheer to thousands of children and their families this year with ‘Cops That Care,’” said Mountain View Police Chief Max Bosel. “It is great to watch everyone’s faces light up, from the kids to the officers.”
“I am grateful to the employees of our police department and schools, community volunteers, and local businesses who dedicated their time and resources to help make everyone’s holidays a little bit brighter,” Bosel added.
The annual event doesn’t just happen in one day. Two days before, Sgt. Ken Leal and others from the Mountain View Police Department headed over to the community center to begin setting up. The process took hours to make sure everything was just right for the children and their families, but every minute was worth it.
“As an officer, there are many things in our job that can be difficult or hard, but ‘Cops That Care’ is the exact opposite of that,” said Sgt. Saul Jaeger. “This is something we look forward to every year. It is incredible to see so many happy kids, and it’s indescribable how great it is to be a part of that.”
Families were able to visit with officers during their stop at the community center and spend time to look at and carefully select toys or gift cards they wanted most.
The event was a huge success, and officers can’t wait to do it again next year.