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Honor the Badge set for December- Donations being accepted now | Community Spirit

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Honor the Badge set for December- Donations being accepted now
Honor the Badge set for December- Donations being accepted now

Sarasota, Florida -- The Sarasota Housing Authority, City of Sarasota Police Department and Target are partnering to provide underprivileged youths with a unique holiday experience.

The Sarasota Housing Authority’s ‘Honor the Badge’ shopping event is an initiative designed to help build mutual trust and respect between law enforcement officials and children of families living in Sarasota Housing Authority communities.

‘Honor the Badge’ will pair 100 local underprivileged children with local law enforcement to shop for holiday gifts at a local Target store prior to opening for the day on December 14, 2013. The event will be Saturday, December 14, 2013 from 6 a.m. until 8 a.m. at Target located at 5350 Fruitville Road, Sarasota. 

The Sarasota Housing Authority, through donations, received from the Sarasota Police Department, local business, religious organizations and individuals prior to the event provide the funds for the gifts to be purchased by police officers.

“Our goal is to help under privileged children from our community come together with local Law Enforcement in an inclusive, non-threatening environment that will encourage open and honest communication with Law Enforcement Officers to remove any fear the youths may have when interacting with officers.  The event will help educate them regarding the role that the officers play in our community,” said Captain Lucius Bonner, Bureau of Professional Standards, Sarasota Police Department.

“Having a safe, strong, vibrant community begins with having mutual respect and trust between community members and the men and women sworn to protect them,” said Sarasota Housing Authority’s Executive Director William Russell. ‘Honor the Badge’ works to build this respect and trust through this fun and positive experience during the holiday season.”

Those wishing to donate can do so through the Sarasota Housing Authority.  Checks can be made out to the Sarasota Housing Funding Corporation with ‘Honor the Badge’ in the memo line.  Checks or cash donations can be dropped off at the Sarasota Housing Authority, 269 South Osprey Avenue, Sarasota; Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more information, contact Bill Russell at the Sarasota Housing Authority at wrussell@sarasotahousing.org or 941-361-6210.