Roswell police selling ribbons, signs to support holiday fundraiser

Roswell police officers shop with kids at a local Target store in 2017. The City Council has approved seeking a $2,000 grant from Target Corp. for this year’s “Heroes and Helpers” program, which pairs police officers with families and children to go shopping for holiday presents. ROSWELL POLICE DEPARTMENT via Facebook
Roswell police officers shop with kids at a local Target store in 2017. The City Council has approved seeking a $2,000 grant from Target Corp. for this year’s “Heroes and Helpers” program, which pairs police officers with families and children to go shopping for holiday presents. ROSWELL POLICE DEPARTMENT via Facebook

Roswell police looking to expand their annual holiday giving efforts had to come up with new fundraising ideas after a major retailer scaled backs its contributions.

For the past 10 years police officers donated their own funds to the department’s Heroes and Helpers program and treated children in the community to a holiday shopping spree at Target, said Officer Sean Thompson, a police spokesman.

Community engagement funds from retailer Target have helped Roswell police buy presents at the stores for as many as 50 children with $100 gift cards, Thompson said.

This holiday season, Target has reduced the grant, Thompson said, just as officers had hoped to expand Heroes and Helpers to buy gifts for more family members and help parents who are out of work during the health crisis.

Officers are introduced to families in need through school counselors and social workers, Thompson said.

The police department started its holiday campaign this week, asking the public to contribute by purchasing police yard signs, ribbons and magnets.

“We had to brainstorm and find a way to get money to support children in need,” Thompson said. “We made these signs and magnets. All proceeds go to the fund.”

Thompson said the department plans to provide clothing, toys and other gifts as well as holiday meals to families.

“And we will make the delivery with the sirens and lights on,” he said.

Contributors can get a police ribbon with a $10 donation, or a yard sign supportive of police for $20, by texting “RPDHeroes” to 44321 and following the directions. Those seeking more information can call 770-640-4192.