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"Badge to Blessings," Springdale Police helping give kids a Christmas to remember

People can check a badge on the police's Christmas tree to know what items to give to make a kid's holiday special.

SPRINGDALE, S.C. — The Springdale Police Department is helping kids in the area have a special Christmas by collecting gifts from the community.

Badge to Blessings is an event put together by the Springdale Police Department. It started last year as a part of their victim advocate program.

"We get several names of kids in need that actually go to our school here in Springdale at Springdale Elementary and figure out items they need, may be in need of or want," said Springdale Police Chief Andrew Richbourg. "We're able to generate a list of different items, put those on little badges on the Christmas tree for people to be able to take one or two or how ever many to bring gifts back."

The Christmas tree is located in the front office of the police department. It's decorated with badges including kids' first names, their clothes sizes and special interest they have.

Chief Richbourg says they want to ensure the best they can that kids are getting the Christmas they deserve.

"It' disheartening sometimes some of the places we go and see kids and their homes and their home life," explained Chief Richbourg. "Most people in our community are very fortunate in the things that they have and the needs being covered, but even right here in our community, that's not a fact. Not all kids are getting the basic necessities that they need."

Credit: Springdale Police Department

"It's better to give than to receive, especially this year, this pandemic and the kids and struggling, not being in school and not seeing their friends, and especially the ones that are in need. A lot of people in schools and stuff don't see the home life of the kids that we unfortunately see and some of these kids' home life is horrible," said Chief Richbourg. "To be able to brighten somebody's day, it goes above and beyond. These kids didn't do anything to deserve to be in the situations that they're in. We feel it's important to get involved and help these kids and show them a bright future and the community is behind them."

RELATED: New playground equipment coming to the Town of Springdale park

As of Thursday afternoon, there are 17 badges left with items listed to give kids for Christmas.

For those wanting to participate, people can go to the police department and check out what items are needed to be purchased. If someone isn't comfortable going inside, they can email Administrative Assistant Sheri Jonas at sjonas@springdalesc.com. Folks can also call the police department if they have any questions at 803-796-3160.

People can drop off the items they purchase unwrapped at the department. The police department will then drop off the gifts to the parents of the child receiving them.

Gifts need to be received by December 21st.

RELATED: Springdale dedicates bench, tree to Faye Swetlik