Twenty Portland families are receiving gifts for their children this holiday from the Portland Police Department. The gifts are being made possible by an anonymous donation made to the Police Department via Officer Michael Fitzpatrick.
“Yes Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus. This is the second year I have been contacted by this extremely generous family who is willing to help the less fortunate in these tough economic times," Fitzpatrick said. "I can’t tell you who it is, that’s our secret. I made a promise and am sticking to it.”
According to Fitzpatrick, the anonymous donations started when he was investigating a stolen bike which was eventually recovered and returned to the owner.
"I was speaking with the donor regarding another matter and commented on the stolen bike case," he said. "They stated that every kid should have a bike growing up and we should do something for Portland children over the holidays. That’s how it started.”
The program has grown since last year to include older children.
“The first year we were able to provide 12 bikes and helmets to six boys and six girls and a donation to the Portland Food bank," Fitzpatrick said. "This year we were able to expand and are providing 10 bikes and helmets to five boys and five girls and 10 iPod shuffle mp3 players and iTunes gift cards to five older boys and five older girls who have outgrown bikes. There is also a substantial donation being made to the Portland Food Bank with the remaining funds.”
The list of children selected to receive gifts was provided to the Police Department by the Portland Public Schools. The gifts were purchased at retail stores in Cromwell and Newington and will be distributed by the Police Department in mid December.
“I only wish that these items were available for purchase from retail stores in Portland to promote local businesses," Fitzpatrick said. "That would be a win-win situation for everyone involved.”
Submitted by Officer Michael Fitzpatrick