BURRILLVILLE – They will likely receive everything from Christmas stockings and gift certificates for a holiday dinner, to winter clothes, and a bone or two for the family dog.
The Burrillville Police Department’s Adopt-a-Family program is now underway, and on track to bring a complete holiday to eight lucky families with help from the community.
There’s a total of 29 children in the eight families adopted by the department this year, ranging in age from newborn to 16.
“The youngest is two days old right now,” said Municipal Court Clerk and Administrative Assistant to the Chief Lisa Rabideau.
It’s a massive effort aimed not just at filling a need for local families, but rather exceeding expectations, with presents going far beyond the basic list. Piles of toys will fill the station for the next several weeks before they’re loaded into the cars to be opened on Christmas Day, along with toiletries and household goods; gift certificates to local stores and restaurants; new winter coats, scarfs and gloves; filled stockings and more.
Last year’s effort also benefited eight Burrillville families, but there were only a total of 22 children in the group.
“There is definitely a lot of need,” Rabideau said.
The clerk coordinates and manages the department’s annual effort, from choosing qualified families, to assigning the recipients to a team of law enforcement elves within the ranks. Staff purchases are supplemented by contributions from both residents and the business community, with hundreds of donors making the program part of their annual charitable giving.
Volunteers will also be needed to help organize and wrap gifts at session where the department typically goes through more than 100 rolls of wrapping paper.
Col. Stephen Lynch started the department’s Adopt-a-Family drive when he first started in Burrillville in 2013, and every year since, the BPD has received a list of qualified recipients from both schools and town-based non-profit Between the Cracks. Each family chosen can have their wish list filled by the department just one time.
Excess donations are shipped off to help other families, or stored in the station basement for future charitable initiatives, while monetary contributions become extras such as gift cards.
Those who want to help buy specific gifts, donate money or a gift card, or volunteer to help wrap are asked to contact Rabideau at firstname.lastname@example.org or (401) 568-9494 ext 1.