Wednesday, December 07, 2005

HPD & HCPAAA's Comida Food Drive & Me

I recently spent four days at my local Fiesta grocery store running the Comida Food Drive sponsored by the Houston Police Department and the Houston Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association. I’m proud to be a graduate of the HCPAAA’s Class 30 and this is the 2nd consecutive year I’ve been the “Captain” at “my” Fiesta. Its hard work to beg people for money and/or canned goods, but someone has to do it and why not me?

I had help from two of my Class 30 classmates and one nice lady from Class 32. I had lots of help from several churches too. As I understand it, the churches provide the list of names of people that need assistance and then they are more than willing to send volunteers out to the 20 city-wide Fiesta stores to do the actual begging and pleading and subsequent thanking for the donations. In fact there was a LOT of thanking going on the entire four days. Every penny that went into the jar was appreciated and everyone that gave us anything got vocal thanks from all concerned.

Our store earned $2,076.22 of the over 48K raised. We turned in 13 boxes of food as well. Last year we raised less money but had more food donated. I don’t have the totals on the amount of food city-wide, but forty eight thousand dollars should buy lots of staples. Last year the Comida Food Drive gave out 3800 boxes of food! That’s a lot of canned corn. I say canned corn because that seemed to be the #1 most popular food stuff that was donated.

HPD promises the store captains uniformed officers to both help keep the money collected secure and to be on hand to interact with the citizens that donate so generously. The children get such a kick out of seeing the police officers up close and personal too. This year I had my very own officer assigned for the entire four days….his named was Officer Jed Rose and I tried to get a picture of him, but he was camera shy… here’s the next best thing! That’s his trading card that he autographed and gave out. He was quite the celebrity and a big hit with the kids because he’s young, friendly and very personable.

I’d like to thank and acknowledge all the members of the Houston Police Department that helped: Officer Jed Rose, Officer Ed Hall, Officer P. Abercia, Officer J. Duran, Officer D. Anders, Sergeants B. Leatherwood and B. Roberts and civilian employee Betty Harrell. It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, thanks to the store managers and other employees that “put up” with us invading their space for 8 plus hours a day. Fiesta is both generous and smart for allowing this yearly event and we do appreciate it.

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