BROKEN BOW—The annual Santa Cop Lunch is scheduled for this Sunday, November 14 from 12 to 2 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Parish Center (1407 South E Street (west Highway 2) in Broken Bow). Funds raised from the free-will donation lunch go to provide new toys and clothing to Custer County kids in need who might not otherwise receive Christmas gifts.
All are invited to enjoy a choice of homemade soups, served with crackers and cookies. To-go containers will also be available.
Lt. Kirk Hansel of the Nebraska State Patrol proposed the idea to distribute gifts to kids in need and the first Santa Cop Project took place in 2004. The first soup supper benefit took place in 2006 and has been held every year since with the help of the St. Joseph Catholic Church children’s classes and the Knights of Columbus, Grocery Kart, Subway, the Custer County Unit of the Salvation Army, Thrivent Financial, Broken Bow Police Department, Custer County Sheriff’s Office, and the Nebraska State Patrol.
Thousands of dollars have been raised via the soup luncheon and other donations to help Custer County families celebrate the holiday season.
“The basis is that the Salvation Army gets gifts for needy children in the county and then law enforcement delivers them. So it’s Broken Bow Police Department, Custer County Sheriff’s Office, and the Nebraska State Patrol, they all help deliver the gifts,” Carol Allen said.
Salvation Army members Carol Allen and Julie Toline said the Santa Cop Project served about 80 families last year, up to around 200 children. The project provides gifts for children as well as some household supplies.
“It’s a wonderful help to us, raises a lot of money which helps us help the children in the county,” Allen said.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the soup lunch was held “to-go” style in 2020 but raised more than $2,000.
“It really is a great fundraiser for us and since we’ve had, like Carol said, we’ve had to adjust how we do Santa Cop it makes it nice to have the extra funds to be able to do it well,” Toline said.
Allen and Toline appreciate all of the organizations, businesses, and members of the public who support the soup fundraiser and the Santa Cop Project.
If you are unable to attend but would like to make a donation, please make checks payable to “Santa Cop” and mail them to Julie Toline at 116 S. 11th Ave, Broken Bow, NE 68822.
Many of the local Salvation Army projects and financial support is made possible with the help of funds raised through the Bell Ringing campaign. Stay tuned for more information on how to volunteer or sign up here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/17J6iBA83JlWbIPvWUfCy3Ylh9Aq_TypVuwV9VMjRPAU/edit?fbclid=IwAR1uVOYLYf8RUJWZud1G2HbY_EyxPHTniglPQWgmI1e92khSJKrs_-uY4JQ#gid=0
Salvation Army Projects Fiscal Year 2020-2021
Back to School Book Bag and School Supplies Distribution
Santa Cop Holiday Gifts
Medical Assistance with Vision, Dental, Prescription services
Christmas Hams for Children’s Christmas Fund
Meals for Recovering Seniors through the Prairie Pioneer Center
Weekend Food Backpack Programs
College/Continuing Education Assistance for area graduating foster students
Assisted with funds for a wheelchair for a 9-year-old
Student Clothing Needs to area schools
Halloween safety glow necklaces given out at Trunk or Treat on the square
Emergency assistance for needs such as temporary housing, fuel and groceries for fire victims, stranded travelers, etc.
Call Julie Toline at the Broken Bow Police Department 308-872-6424 or her cell 402-677-9323 with any questions regarding the Salvation Army.