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CMPD Explorers Christmas Project
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Contact: Rob Tufano, CMPD Public Affairs Office
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Explorer Post Christmas Project was started in 1974 with the police department helping 15 families.  In 2012 the Explorers Post helped 687 families (about 1,837 children).  We work with the Charlotte Mecklenburg School system guidance counselors, family advisors, and social workers to identify the children who get breakfast and lunch at school.  When these children are out of school for the two week Christmas break it puts a strain on the parent/grandparent/guardian to feed these children three meals a day.   We provide a 60 pound box of food (including a 10-12 pound ham and 10 pound bag of potatoes), a fruit box, and a gift box with gifts for each of the children in the family.  These are children who would not wake up on Christmas morning with any gifts under the tree or a Christmas dinner.    I have already had people tell me that they had no way to purchase any gifts for their children that they will be lucky to keep the roof over their head through the end of the year.
Three years ago a young adult gentleman walked into the warehouse to help wrap gifts. He said that when he was 7 or 8 years old the police officers and firefighters brought food and gifts to his house.   As the holidays approached that year his mother grew sadder and sadder and cried a lot. He did not know why she was so sad because it was almost time for Santa Clause to come.  What he didn’t know was they had no money and there would be no gifts under the tree for him and his sister.   The day of delivery when the officers and firefighters arrived to deliver the food, fruit, and gifts, he and his sister were so busy looking in the gift boxes that he had not realized his mother was not in the room.  When he went into the kitchen, he found her crying again but this time she was different. These tears were tears of joy because her children had food to eat and gifts under the tree. He wanted to come to the warehouse and help out because we helped bring joy to his family that Christmas.      
The first of December we go into a borrowed warehouse and set up to sort and box food and sort and wrap gifts.  Hopefully each child will receive at least three gifts each.   We need donors to adopt a child by going to The Link, 107.9, website Santa’s Link to Kids.​
On December 14th The Link is sponsoring a fundraise the Holiday On Ice Winter Caravel which will include a Ferris Wheel Ride, Games, Entertainment and more.  On December 16th and 17th The Link will host events each night where you can drop off their gifts.  Another option is to drop the gift off at your local Charlotte Fire or Police Department.  In addition, donors can write checks to CMPD Explorer Post 247 and mail those to CMPD Attention Officer Ryan Botzenmayer, 601 East Trade Street, Charlotte, NC 28202.  Please contact Officer Ryan Botzenmayer for more information regarding the 2013 CMPD Explorer Christmas Project at 704.432.0432 or
Santa’s Link to Kids Website​​.​
Donation through PayPal can be made at this website
The Link Winter Festival at Holiday on Ice
Saturday, December 14th - 10:00am – 4:00pm
400 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Ferris Wheel Ride, Games, Entertainment, & More
Link 107.9 Party Drop-Off Locations
Birkdale Village
Monday, December 16th
5:00pm – 8:00pm
16805 Birkdale Commons PKWY
Huntersville, NC 28078
Promenade on Providence
Tuesday, December 17th
10844 Providence Road
Charlotte, NC 28277
Charlotte Fire Department
December 1st through December 19th
Any CFD Fire Station
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department
December 1st through December 19th
Any CMPD Division Office