The sound of kettlebells is synonymous with the holiday donation season; but while folks may be used to seeing the bell ringing volunteers simply standing outside their favorite stores, Caldwell Police Officers took a different approach.
“Everybody here just jumps in and wants to have fun,” said Chief Frank Wyant. “They’ll bring boomboxes out there, play music over the police cars, the lights are going, and they’re just there to have a good time.”
And the good time paid off.
Altogether, the department brought in more than $5,300 for The Salvation Army’s Caldwell Corps. From riding scooters, to singing and dancing, the officers were doing just about anything for donations.
“We had older ladies that came up and said, ‘hey, we expect a dance,’” Wyant said. “And so we had to slow dance with them when we were out there. Other officers would run up to cars dancing.”
And while breaking the record for the most Salvation Army donations collected in Caldwell is nice, Wyant says it was the opportunity to interact with the community in a positive way that takes the cake.
“The community is only going to trust us as much as they know the officers,” Wyant said. “So if they go out there and see these guys are real people, they want to laugh, they want to joke, they’re good people, they start to trust you more, they want to participate with you, they want to share information…and that’s what makes a community. It’s us in this together.”
This was the second year the Caldwell Police Department volunteered with The Salvation Army, and Chief Wyant says his team is already planning for the next holiday season when they hope to beat their donation record.