A few months ago, Columbus Division of Police Community Liaison Officer Tony Rogers (7 Precinct, East Side) asked us if we would help him and Mario Dovell with their Angel Tree Christmas Project for East Columbus Elementary School. Mario worked with us on Cops and Barbers 2019 and is the director of Adams Community Center. Every year, he and Tony hosts a big party for nearly 100 kindergarten and pre-kindergartners. The Columbus Zoo comes with animals, and Santa pays a visit. For some of these kids, this is the only toy they will receive.
Unfortunately, the Wonder Bread bakery, which used to sponsor this event, is no longer in business, so we needed to figure out how to obtain all those presents. After speaking to Tony and Mario, we decided that we'd create an Amazon Wish List with toys for each of the kids and post it on our website in November, hoping our supporters would help.
However, Schottenstein Property Group heard about the project and asked to participate. We sent them the Wish List, and the very generous employees started buying items. And buying items. And buying items. They bought all 96 items! Plus batteries for the toys that needed them. Then they bought wrapping paper and asked if they could come wrap the presents for us! Which is exactly what they did tonight, in 35 minutes. (Yes, seriously--they were better than Santa's elves.)
It was truly amazing; check out the pictures for yourselves. You'll also see Sgt Ed Daniher of the Community Liaison Unit, and Community Liaison Officer Joe Townsend (17 Precinct, Northwest Side) pitching in.
We are very grateful to Schottenstein Property Group, and to their employees who so generously came together to accomplish this task. The Angel Tree Event is next week, so we'll update you afterwards. (We're very excited about it!)