Holiday cheer delivered to hundreds, thanks to East Police Cadets

This year, our Police Cadets did more than load food boxes into volunteer drivers’ cars on Sunshine Delivery day ‚Ķ

Taking a moment to pose for a “team photo”, Portland Police East Precinct Cadets get ready to load Sunshine Division food packages into volunteer drivers’ vehicles.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The date – December 16th. And all across Portland, police precinct stations are abuzz with activity early on a cold Saturday morning. This is the day volunteers take food boxes, prepared by the Sunshine Division, to families in need.

East Precinct Police Cadets stand ready to load the volunteers’ vehicles as the garage doors open.

We take a look outside, expecting to see volunteer drivers lined up for blocks. But, only a handful of vehicles are in the cue. “This isn’t good,” says NRT Officer Michael Gallagher, the Cadet program leader. “Maybe the prediction for possible freezing rain is keeping the drivers at home,” he suggests.

Portland Police Bureau’s East Precinct Commander Michael Crebs helps load up volunteer driver Howard Johns’ truck. “It’s my sixth year,” Johns says. “It’s just a good thing to do this time of year.”

As the stream of volunteer drivers turns into a trickle, Commander Crebs wheels his car into the loading bay, takes delivery sheets, and the Cadets pack every nook and cranny of his vehicle with deliveries.

Cadets form a box brigade line to load every vehicle, including their equipment trailer, with food boxes they’ll deliver.

Determined to make their East Portland deliveries, Cadets round up and load all available cars, trucks and vans. Their spirit of teamwork shows as they pack their vehicles high with food boxes.

Police Cadets Kenny Bossen and Daniel Abbott finish loading a van with food packages they’ll delver to East Portland’s needy.

As quickly as possible, the Cadets deliver these food boxes. They return, reload, and head out again. “We’ll keep going until we’ve made all the deliveries,” Gallagher said.

Because of the volunteer efforts of the Cadets, many people in East Portland had a brighter holiday, indeed.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

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