Although Mike Kirkland has been a cop for 22 years, he said playing Santa is the best job he has ever had. For almost seven years, the Douglas County …
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Although Mike Kirkland has been a cop for 22 years, he said
playing Santa is the best job he has ever had.
For almost seven years, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has
adopted families in need, nominated by employees, for the holiday
season, as part of the Christmas for Kids program.
“I am amazed at how modest some of the children’s wish lists
are,” Kirkland said. “Clothing, winter outerwear items are listed,
without any toys.”
But that’s not good enough in Kirkland’s mind, as he said he
will get the children on the phone and ask them what Santa could
provide for them as well.
Each year, Kirkland said he is humbled by how many sponsors
become involved, and also how many of them include their own
children in the giving and supporting of other families.
“They always tell me to make sure they are contacted again next
year to be part of the Christmas for Kids program,” Kirkland
This year, a Cub Scout Pack 826, from the Castle Pines North
area, sponsored five families, for a total of 17 children. The
leader of the cub scout pack also contacted the Bike for Tykes
group, and will arrange for three bikes to be given to a family.
They also plan to contribute gift cards paid for with monies earned
from different fundraising activities.
“A few years ago we decided to expand the sponsorship
nominations up to county employees as well,” Cocha Heyden, public
information officer said. “If a county employee knew of a family in
need, one that they had personal knowledge of the need, they could
nominate the kids to be sponsored.”
Heyden said the sheriff’s office gears their program towards
getting gifts for the kids, as opposed to the whole family.
The families supply a wish list and then the sheriff’s office
matches them up with a sponsor.
“Our sponsors come from the sheriff’s office, other county
departments, county businesses, scout groups, and even our
neighborhood watch groups,” Heyden said.
Kirkland said this year, so far, they have 47 families, and a
total of 139 children being taken care of for the holidays.
“Last year we had about half as many kids,” Kirkland said.
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