During Monday’s brief Peru City Council meeting the city announced a donation to a local organization that attempts to spread holiday cheer for many families in need throughout the community.
Peru donated $2,500 to the Blue and Red Christmas for Kids Program, which was founded by the Peru Police and Fire departments six years ago.
Deputy Chief Sarah Raymond and Community Service Officer Blake Frund were in attendance on Monday to accept the donation on behalf of the organization. Raymond thanked the city for its donation.
“Thank you for your donation because it’s big and it makes a huge difference in the lives of a lot of these kids,” Raymond said. “Know that it’s going to be used for good.”
The organization runs entirely from donations of businesses, groups and individuals throughout the community.
“Any donation we receive along with the one here today will go toward the children,” Raymond said. “We get the names from the schools. The Peru public schools help us out with families that are in need and we in turn ask those families if they would like assistance.”
The Blue and Red Christmas for Kids Program isn’t just one that donates gifts to children in need, but rather one that finds out the wants and needs for the individual child and family and does whatever it can to bring smiles to their faces.
“We ask about the children’s sizes and their different interests and wish lists,” Raymond said. “The most important thing is their basic needs. The families are always very grateful.”
For this season the group has 35 families signed up for the program, all of which are multi-children households. This number could also continue to grow as they are still waiting to hear from more families in the community.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Raymond said. “It’s a lot of work but it’s very rewarding. It’s something that they might, otherwise, not be able to have.”
Once the personalized gifts are bought and wrapped the group of firefighters and police officers get together, along with Santa, and deliver the gifts to the family’s front doorsteps.
Santa receives a police escort as the group parades through the city of Peru.
“It’s a great feeling, being able to help as many families as we can,” Raymond said. “Each year we try to divide up the donations to help as many people as we can and now that we are getting the nominations from the schools, it’s even more important to get as much in donations that we possibly can.”
Mayor Ken Kolowski was excited to offer this donation to the program that has been hard at work for many years to give many children in Peru a Merry Christmas.
“It’s a great program that has been going on for years,” Kolowski said. “They’ll help out anybody and that’s what Christmas is about and the team that got this going does an amazing job. The funds will go a long way to help a lot of needy families.”
As an organization funded entirely by the generosity of donations, the group is always accepting donations regardless of amount. All donations go directly towards providing wants and needs to children and families in need.
Anyone who is interested in donating to the program can make a check out to the Blue and Red Christmas or the Peru Police Department. Donations can be dropped off at the police department or they can be picked up as well.