BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — An annual event in Brookings helping kids and their families during the holiday season is back on Wednesday.
Christmas, Kids and Cops is an annual event right before Christmas in Brookings that has been around for about 20 years.
Local law enforcement agencies including the Brookings Police Department, Brookings County Sheriff, Highway Patrol, SDSU Police Department, Game, Fish, & Parks, and others will gather Wednesday with kids and their families at Walmart for a Subway meal, shopping, face painting and time with Santa.
Local businesses and private donors typically raise around $20,000-$25,000 to make the event happen.
“The only way we’ve been able to go up to 36 kids, that’s because of the testament to the people in this community. This is strictly donation based, and if we didn’t have the donations, we wouldn’t be able to support 36 families,” Brookings Police Department assistant chief Joe Fishbauger said.
“We have people year-round that say, ‘hey, can I donate to Christmas, Kids & Cops?’ Even the night of the event they hear what’s going and ask us if they can donate right then and there. They hear what’s going on and what we’re doing for the community. The support is unreal. We wouldn’t be able to put this program on without the support of the community and donations that come in,” Brookings County deputy sheriff Jeremy Kriese said.
Participating kids are picked by teachers, counselors and school resource officers. The event this year is this Wednesday.