Holiday With a Hero program returning to Carson City
Local public safety officers are gearing up for the annual Holiday With a Hero and are asking for the public’s help raising money for the event.
Holiday With a Hero takes the school district’s McKinney-Vento Students in Transition kids and pairs them with a public safety officer to shop for holiday presents. Each student receives a gift card to Walmart and a public safety shopper. They get to pick out whatever they want and get it gift wrapped so every student can have a present under the tree for Christmas.
“We see the side that many don’t see and so we try to give back,” said Carson City Fire engineer Lance Caras.
“We are on duty even if we are off duty and this (volunteering) is part of that. This is the kind of stuff we do off the job.”
The organizers hope to be able to provide at least $100 to each student, which means they will need to raise a minimum of $20,000. They’re expecting more than 200 students from grades kindergarten to 5th grade from the McKinney-Vento program.
Much of the fundraising falls onto the organizers; they receive the funds from civilian donations and through their pub crawl fundraiser. However, Sgt. Daniel Gonzales hopes they can receive help from local businesses and organizations around Carson City.
“We are looking for people to buy into support for a great project,” Gonzales said.
“We want to spread this around the city instead of having one group (take on the financial) obligation. This is for the Carson City school district, for Carson City kids for us to come together.”
Gonzales said they hope organizations and businesses can do small things like hold micro fundraisers or offer food or drink specials for people to contribute to the event.
“If 40 businesses did that at just $500, that is a huge chunk of our funds,” Gonzales said. “We are still asking citizens for donations as well, we just want to try to not put it all on one person.”
All public safety organizations are participating in the event including: the Sheriff’s Office, Fire Department, Department of Corrections, Juvenile Probation, Parole and Probation, Nevada Division of Forestry and the courts. This will be the second year the fire department has partnered with the Sheriff’s Office and McKinney-Vento office to host this event. This collaboration is important because it allows the two departments to combine necessary resources to make the event better each year.
“Our goal here is the same: service to the kids of Carson City so we try to build that positive image of the Sheriff’s Office and Fire Department,” Gonzales said. “I became a cop to help people and (Caras) became a firefighter for the same reason, this uniform helps us facilitate a project to do just that.”
For anyone willing to donate, checks can be made payable to Holiday with a Hero and can be delivered at the Sheriff’s Office front desk, at 911 E. Musser Street; Fire Station 51, at 777 Stewart Street; or at the McKinney-Vento office, at 618 W. Musser Street. Donations can also be made at the Bank of the West to the Holiday with a Hero account.
Holiday With a Hero will take place on Dec. 21 this year.