Ponoka traffic unit fills Christmas shoeboxes

Law enforcers in Ponoka are getting into the holiday spirit by filling boxes of toys to be sent around the world.

The Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit raised funds to purchase gifts as part of the Good Samaritan’s Purse program Operation Christmas Child. Here Cpl. Jerry Court holds the boxes which will get sent to children during the holiday season.

The Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit raised funds to purchase gifts as part of the Good Samaritan’s Purse program Operation Christmas Child. Here Cpl. Jerry Court holds the boxes which will get sent to children during the holiday season.

Law enforcers in Ponoka are getting into the holiday spirit by filling boxes of toys to be sent around the world.

Members of the Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit (PITU) pooled some money to buy toys and candy to fill shoe-sized boxes intended for the Good Samaritan’s Purse program Operation Christmas Child. The idea came from Sgt. Nathan Kardish who wanted a way to give back this season.

The unit bought 12 boxes, six for boys and six for girls and each shoebox has non-violent toys, stickers and non-perishable candy. There are also other items such as pencils for school and toothbrushes. “The girls got My Little Pony stickers and the boys got racecars. Each box you can fill to the brim.”

The boxes are sent to a processing depot in Calgary and then are delivered around the world. There are also RCMP and Sheriff pins to show where the boxes are coming from. He feels it is a way for the unit to do something besides enforcement.

“I wanted to do something to give back. We like to support the community and we like to support people. This was a way to do that,” explained Kardish. “Everyone that donated has kids and all our kids are lucky to have all the things in life that they ever dreamed of.”

Officers wanted to have a personal touch to their gifts rather than donate money and they felt this was a way to bring joy into another person’s life. “This was actually the perfect fit.”

The group bought locally and hope to do something similar to this next year. “It’s good for the soul…It’s completely a bunch of the guys getting together and saying, ‘Let’s do something good for somebody else.’”