The Police Department’s annual “No Shave November” fundraiser is in full effect this year. Male officers are typically not allowed to have facial hair whatsoever throughout the year, but during the months of November and December, they are allowed to let it grow with a donation of at least $25 a month for those two months. The money they raise is pooled together to participate in Whitaker Bank’s Angel Tree program. Once their funds are raised, they will go to the bank and pick out names of children on the tree to buy Christmas presents for that year. They have been able to buy gifts for up to 13 children each Christmas since the tradition started.
Those who choose to shave or any officer can still donate to the cause or go buy toys for the children themselves, but the officers say that about half of the station participates by keeping their scruffy beards for the entire start of winter. They can also pay to keep their beards for both November and December or just for one month.
The men really enjoy this tradition because they normally have to shave every day. One officer said that he has been working in the police force for over 20 years and has had to shave every day except during this winter tradition. They also enjoy the morale boost that comes along with comparing each other’s facial hair as the months go by.
Two weeks before Christmas all the money is put together to see how many children they can buy for that year. They usually try to put about $125 towards each child to meet both their needs and their wants. When they pick a name off of the tree, the only thing they know is the child’s gender, age, clothing/shoe size, and three top wishes for Christmas. They have bought bikes and helmets, nerf guns, and all sorts of fun toys for the Angel Tree kids. The officers always try to buy two outfits and the number 1 toy for each child, and sometimes they are able to get all three wishes provided they have enough funds for them. A main priority is to keep the child warm for the winter by buying winter coats, hats, and gloves. Once they buy all the gifts, they will take them back to the bank and the bank will give the gifts to the families. It is all anonymous.
The beards have to be gone by January 1st, but until then, keep a look out for some scruffy faces around Scott County!