Santa Clara Police Shop With Local Students
By Robert Haugh
Helping make the holidays brighter for 40 local middle and high school students and their families, Santa Clara Police Activities League’s 2011 Shop with A PAL program recently gave students $100 shopping sprees at Kohl’s.
Some had shopping lists in hand, most were unselfishly shopping for their family rather than themselves, but all were enjoying shopping for discounted gifts with their “PALs,” uniformed Santa Clara Police officers and community volunteers.
Following their shopping sprees, the students were bussed down El Camino by Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation to Mariani’s Inn & Restaurant for an extravagant breakfast buffet. After enjoying Mariani’s buffet, the students were able to wrap their hand-picked gifts, with assistance from the officers and volunteers.
The brainchild of Officer Bill Davis, the Executive Director of Santa Clara PAL, the goal of Shop with A PAL is to make the holiday season brighter for families. Participants were selected by the Santa Clara Unified School District.
Shop with a PAL was made possible thanks to generous support from Santa Clara PAL, Santa Clara Police Officers Association, Mariani’s Inn and Restaurant, Kohl’s Department Store, Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation, the Santa Clara Soroptimist Club, Safeway Stores and the Santa Clara Unified School District.
In addition to the shopping spree, PAL volunteers and Officers delivered food baskets to families on December 23rd and gifts on Christmas Day. “The Christmas Day deliveries were exciting and fun. The families were appreciative. The kids were fantastic. It was fun to see their reaction to Santa’s arrival at their doorstep with Christmas gifts,” said Davis.
Former Chief of Police Frank Sapena founded Santa Clara PAL in 1970. The goal was to bring Police, neighborhood volunteers, and kids together in a positive setting. PAL is a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching youth the values and rewards that can be accomplished through self-determination, belief in one’s self, desire, teamwork and respect for others. Competent community volunteers lead several PAL programs, including soccer, boxing, bowling, bicycle moto-cross (BMX), girl’s softball, judo, wrestling, fishing and Police Explorers. PAL programs are for anyone from 5 years old to 18 years of age with several programs for adults.
Santa Clara PAL depends solely on donations from individuals and corporations and the PAL Board of Directors holds many fund-raisers to help provide necessary equipment, uniforms and insurance. The goal of PAL is to provide sports activities at a low cost to all children.
Santa Clara PAL does not receive funds from telephone marketing.
To make donations, call the PAL Office Monday through Friday at (408) 615-4880 or mail checks to Santa Clara PAL, 601 El Camino Real Suite 311, Santa Clara, CA, 95050.
For more information on Santa Clara PAL, visit http://www.santaclarapal.org/