In 1982, a six-month-old boy was treated at the Cleveland Clinic for a serious illness. Fortunately, the little boy was able to make a full recovery. At the time of his illness the boy’s father was a young Cleveland Police Officer working in the Second District. The officer told his fellow officers of the sick children that he had seen while his son was being treated. He noted that they were from all over the world and didn’t always have support close by. After hearing the stories, the officers of the Second District decided they would work to bring joy and happiness to little boys and girls in the area hospitals by having a Christmas party. The party would be for all the sick children at the Cleveland Clinic, Ronald McDonald House, and University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.
Working together with the community, the officers were able get the choir from Blessed Sacrament church, a clown, a pipe band, and with donations from Novaks Church Supply, they came bearing gifts for the children. The gifts were wrapped by “Santa’s Elves” (the wives and girlfriends of the officers) who also baked cookies and provided snacks for the children and their families. Santa’s sleigh was a big yellow PAL school bus loaded with gifts of all shapes and sizes. It was manned by Second District Officers who wanted to share the Spirit of Christmas with all the sick children.
In 1984, the Cops, Kids and Christmas program went city-wide and it still continues to bring smiles to the very young and the young at heart to this day. The program is a success because the community and the police work together to ensure that little boys and girls from all over the world can come to our city and know that they will be cared about and loved as if they were our own children.
On Monday, December 17, 2012, the Cops, Kids and Christmas program will be holding their 30th annual Cops, Kids and Christmas Holiday Party at the Ronald McDonald House.