The CMPD just held their 42nd annual Explorers Christmas Project this past week, delivering presents and food to over 1,700 needy families throughout the Charlotte region.
They built bicycles, assembled toys, hand-wrote cards, then personally delivered them with plenty of hugs and encouraging words.
Each family they delivered presents to also received a gift card for a whole frozen chicken.
The CMPD Police Explorers Project originally started in 1974 as a way to give back to the community during the Christmas season. That first year, the Police Department helped 15 families – this year that number has grown over 100 fold.
To identify the children and families, CMPD partners with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools guidance counselors and teachers to identify children and their families who are in need of assistance during the Christmas season. They also work with the Charlotte Fire Department to include families with emergency situations onto their list.
Their goal is to give each child at least three gifts, and provide each family with a gift card to a local grocery store to purchase a Christmas Dinner.
This year has been their biggest in over 40 years since the program first started.
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) December 19, 2015
CMPD and city leaders plan on continuing to grow the program to bring even more joy next year.