For the past 10 years, the Odenville Police Department Auxiliary has headed up a program called Cops 4 Tots to make sure children have presents and toys to open Christmas morning. This year was no exception as 20 needy children enjoyed the thrill of a visit from Santa Claus on Christmas.
Police Chief Adam Pardue is quick to point out that this is not anything they have done, but rather it is the Odenville community who stepped up and provided for these children.
“We just happened to be the head over it,” Pardue said. “We were here and watched this community come together for a good cause.
“If it were not for the community, we would not be able to do what we’re doing. I will not take credit for any of this, but the community deserves all the credit. We just happened to be the overseers of it.”
Pardue said there were apparently fewer children to help this year than in year’s past.
“One reason there were not as many kids is that we only allow families to be on our list three years in a row,” Pardue said. “The need is great, no doubt.”
Pardue said Angler Recycling called a few weeks ago, and wanted to help with the Cops for Tots program.
“I told them I would get back with them,” Pardue said. “Everything moved real fast, and when we went shopping for the children, we spent $2,000. So many businesses in our city contributed.
“When I visited Angler Recycling, I showed them the receipt from where we purchased the toys, and I thought they would just donate a percentage of what we had spent. They ended up writing us a check for $2,000. I was absolutely amazed.”
Pardue said in another incident a man approached him at the end of October needing help during the holidays.
“I told him to come back in November and fill out an application,” Pardue said. “I never saw him again until about two days ago, and he walked into my office, and wrote me a check for the program.
“He didn’t need help anymore, and wanted to help us. He wrote me a $250 check.”
Pardue said they have actually had more money to work with than any of the other previous years, and have money to start with for next year’s program.
Kelli Brewer is a member of the OPD Auxiliary, and helps Pardue with the Cops 4 Tots program.
“We’ve been truly blessed with everything that has been done this year,” Brewer said. “We’ve been blessed the past 10 years. It makes me feel good knowing we are able to help these children.
“They absolutely bless our hearts. It’s been wonderful.”