For the fourth year in a row the Lowell Area Police Department (LPD) has headed up Cold Weather Warriors, a program aimed and keeping kids in Lowell Area Schools warm. Although the weather was cold and a little snowy last month, numbers this year are down. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing!
Taking on Winter Weather
Each year, LPD collects Meijer Gift cards or monetary donations used to buy items needed. This year donations and need are both down. But the Department is still seeking community support. Meijer gift cards can still be dropped off at the department. If items purchased are not needed this year, they will be saved for next year. Some community members are regular donors such as one person who has dropped off a $500 gift card multiple years. Others give what they can. But every bit helps local kids in need.
In past years, the department has raised around $1,400 to purchase cold weather gear for students. The department works with all of the elementary schools and the middle school to get a list of kids, including age and size, who are in need of gear for the winter. They go shopping specifically for each student on their list.
As of the end of November, 8 pairs of boots, 6 coats, and 2 pairs of snow pants as well as 7 pairs of hats and gloves have been collected. This is compared to purchasing items for nearly 50 students in past years. Why the decline? “These numbers are down for several reasons, one we had three successful drives over the last three years and the economy is much better than four years ago when we serviced closed to 45-50 children from preschool to middle school.” explains Chief Steve Bukala. “This year we had zero requests from middle school families.”
The drive is anticipated to be complete by the time the school district begins Christmas break after school on December 21. They are still seeking Meijer card donations and are available should a school contact them with a need.
In the above photo, provided by LPD, Police Cadet Jack Verhill poses with some of the items purchased this year.