The Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 93, is seeking children in need of an extra Christmas present to participate in the annual “The Giving Christmas Tree” initiative.
This week registration forms were put out for children in need of a Christmas present at the Urbana Police Division’s office in the Urbana municipal building, 205 S. Main St.
Residents who know a child or children who live in the city of Urbana who may be in need of a Christmas present can fill out a registration form to have those children placed on the Giving Christmas Tree. Urbana Police Sgt. Josh Jacobs said the registration forms will be collected through Dec. 1 and the Christmas tree will be put up in the municipal building lobby around the same time.
Jacobs said participating children must be 12 years old or younger and live within the city of Urbana.
Once the tree is put up residents will grab a tag from the tree, buy a gift for the child on the tag and return the gift to the Urbana Police Division. Jacobs said the deadline to return the tag with gifts will be Dec. 16.
Members of Lodge 93 and the Urbana Police Division will deliver the gifts to children before Christmas.
Jacobs said the program has been in existence for multiple years and when it started lodge members and police were looking for a way to interact with the community in a positive manner while forming relationships with children in the community.
“That’s still the purpose of everything from our end but it’s also a neat way that we’re able to be the facilitators for community members to give to children who aren’t as fortunate in our community and we’re kind of facilitators to be that person or that group to kind of help that circle go around,” Jacobs said.
Last year, Jacobs said gifts were distributed to over 250 children which reflects the generosity of the community.
“The Urbana community has always been great about this type of stuff,” Jacobs said. “They’ve always been supportive of this type of project and always been supportive of our police department. I can’t say enough on behalf of our lodge what it means to work in a community like this.”
Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.