Kellogg Community College’s Chief of Public Safety Austin Simons, left, and Public Safety Operations Manager Marc Pierce.
Kellogg Community College’s Chief of Public Safety Austin Simons, left, and Public Safety Operations Manager Marc Pierce. Photos courtesy of KCC.

Kellogg Community College’s Department of Public Safety is giving back this season, and you can help.

KCC is working with the Battle Creek Police Department, Child Protective Services and community members to promote positive interactions and make Christmas and the holiday season special for kids in our community.

Project Christmas is one of the ways that KCC is getting involved. Underprivileged kids are transported to the Battle Creek Police Department, where they have an opportunity to meet and interact with police officers in a positive light and are surprised with a new bicycle or tricycle for Christmas. Anyone can contribute financially to assist with the cause.

“It takes a village to raise a child, and Project Christmas gives community members the opportunity to help,” KCC Chief of Public Safety Austin Simons said. “Christmas is all about hope, and this gives the kids and the community hope. The kids also get a positive interaction with police and with the people who donated to the project.”

Another project that KCC is collaborating on is Shop with a Cop. The local Department of Health and Human Services provides the group with the names of 75 children from Calhoun County that will participate. During the year, Calhoun County Shop with a Cop has fundraisers to raise money so that each of the 75 kids can have $100 to spend not only on gifts for themselves, but also for others in their families.

“On the day of the event, the officers will take the kids shopping and also help them make some craft projects, help them wrap their gifts and even eat with them,” KCC Public Safety Operations Manager Marc Pierce said. “Our hope is that by interacting with the kids in this manner, they get to see that police officers are people too, and help them feel more at ease when talking and dealing with police. Not just now, but in their future lives. Any activities that help the community strengthen bonds between police and citizens is a worthwhile effort, and Shop with a Cop is one of those.”

Anyone can get involved and donate to these projects, and there is no donation too great or too small.

Project Christmas will take place at the Battle Creek Police Department at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14; all are welcome to attend. Contributions can be made at the KCC Business Office – Project Christmas by Tuesday, Dec. 11.

Shop with a Cop will take place Saturday, Dec. 15. Monetary donations can be dropped off at the Emmett Township police station at 621 Cliff Street, Battle Creek. Food or merchandise donations can be submitted by contacting the Emmett Township police department prior to the event. For more information, contact Lt. Tony Geigle at 269-986-9303.