Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Santa Cop gears up toy drive

Staff writer

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link Joshua Lucero: Staff photo

Jankia Mims, center, drops a toy into the donation box with New Mexico Christian Children’s Home house parent Rachel Truex, right, and her son James Truex at the Portales Police Department’s SantaCop toy drive Saturday morning at Walmart. The toy drive has raised $3,000 dollars and hopes to exceed the $7,000 raised last year, according to organizer Mickie Gonzales.

For Portales Police Department Master Patrol Officer Raul Rosa, the annual Santa Cop toy drive is about bringing smiles to young faces.

Police officers set up shop Saturday morning at Walmart to collect toys and monetary donations throughout the day as part of the Portales Police Department’s Santa Cop program.

For more than 15 years the Santa Cop program has been collecting and delivering toys to children in Roosevelt County, according to Records Keeper Mickie Gonzales.

“For me, it’s for the kids,” Rosa said, “making sure they have a nice Christmas and not a sad one.”

Gonzales said the program raised $7,000 last year and is on track to exceed that amount this year with toy drives and fundraising events scheduled through Dec. 20.

Gonzales said the department has already raised $3,000 as of Saturday.

The department will hold two more toy drives and a toy run in November and early December.

Gonzales said the department will be at Walmart on Nov. 28 and Dec. 6 to collect toys and donations.

The department has partnered with the Los Reyes Motorcycle Club for a toy run Saturday at the Portales Recreation Center. Bikers will ride through town with a police escort as they take toys from the recreation center to the police station.

Mayor Sharon King, who donated a toy during Saturday’s Santa Cop toy drive, said the toy drive is for building a positive relationship between kids and the police department.

“It’s wonderful. It gives Christmas to a lot of kids that may not have it otherwise,” King said.

Rachel Truex, a house parent at the New Mexico Christian Children’s Home, said her kids donated to the program Saturday to give back to the community.

“We’re always looking for opportunities for the kids to serve the others,” Truex said.

Truex said she didn’t know a lot about the Santa Cop program, but saw it as a way for her kids and the children’s home to give back to a community that has served them.

“It overwhelms me how generous people are. It literally warms my heart how generous this community is,” Gonzales said of the donations the department receives for the Santa Cop program.

Gonzales said the program sends tickets to the Santa Cop toy distribution to less fortunate children that have been identified by local schools.

Parents can pick up tickets for the toy distribution at the Portales Police Department before the event.

Gonzales said the toy distribution will be held noon to 3 p.m. Dec. 20 at the Yam Theater on Main Avenue.

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