With 11 days until the deadline for donations, the Holiday with a Hero program still has to make up for at least a $13,000 shortfall.“We're way off,” Carson City Sheriff's Sgt. Daniel Gonzales said.The program, administered by the sheriff's office, aims to give up to 300 homeless Carson City students $100 to spend on presents to sit beneath their Christmas trees.The children range from elementary to high school students. The students often buy necessities for their family members, rather than toys for themselves, Gonzales said.“A lot of the kids may end up using their Holiday with a Hero money to get themselves a jacket,” Peggy Sweetland said. Sweetland is the special projects coordinator for the Carson City School District and administers the winter coat program.“My coat drive has fallen short of coats this year, in fact, shorter than it's ever been,” Sweetland said. Last year, after Black Friday, Sweetland's office was like a revolving door and this year, only a single person brought in coats after the shopping day.The deadline for donations to Holiday with a Hero is Dec. 12, Gonzales said. Last year, local business and companies held internal fundraisers such as potlucks that charged admission to raise funds for the program.“It all adds up and it all counts,” Gonzales said, adding the event brings the community together.Even small donations of $5 or $10 help bring the program closer to its goal.Shopping occurs Dec. 13 and 14. Children are taken to shop with first responders, members of the military and heroes of all stripes.“The high school kids really open up to the military,” he said.Last year, Holiday With a Hero provided gift cards to 287 students, with less expected for this year. The number of eligible students is higher but the number of turned-in permission slips is down from last year. Less permission slips may also be the result of students being sponsored elsewhere, Sweetland said. The students are taken to Walmart with their hero to shop and then are treated to a free lunch from McDonalds.Checks need to be made payable to “Holiday with a Hero” and donations can be mailed to:• PO Box 2790, Carson City, NV 89702• They can be taken to the Carson City Sheriff's Office at 911 E. Musser St. • They can be made at Bank of the West at 2976 N. Carson Street under Account No. 025761072.• The tax identification number is 80-0763632.Coats can be dropped off 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, at the Children in Transition, or McKinney Vento, office in the Gleason Building at 604 W. Musser St., although cash donations are also accepted. Peggy Sweetland can be reached at 775-283-1537.
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