As a Lawrence police officer for nearly 18 years, Laurie Scott has seen plenty of kids who need help, in all kinds of situations.
Now, as a school resource officer this year at West Middle School, she sees the issues up close and personal each and every working day.
“Like kids who play a sport, but don’t have shoes,” she said Tuesday, at an event at Capital City Bank downtown.
The occasion: The Lawrence St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee formally naming six charities that will be sharing proceeds in 2012 from the parade and associated events.
Among the charities is the Lawrence Police Blue Santa Program, a new-this-year effort to provide area children and families with toys and food for the Christmas holiday.
Scott is leading the way on the program, one suggested during a meeting with colleagues and now well on its way to reality. The program already has generated $2,000 in funding, from a charity golf tournament conducted by police.
The plan is to provide qualifying families with toys and a $25 card, good for buying food for a holiday meal. Families who apply and meet guidelines, which include living in Lawrence and having at least one child 13 years old or younger, will receive the gifts sometime from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 19-22, during an in-person visit from a uniformed police officer.
Scott welcomes volunteers willing to wrap gifts, or to provide donations of money, wrapping paper, tape, bows and ribbons.
The “Blue Santa” theme isn’t a nod to the Grinch, but rather inclusion of the traditional color associated with police everywhere.
“It’s just another way to give back to the community,” Scott said.
For more information about the program, visit its Facebook page.