Pink tricycles with ribbon, green and orange tricycles ready for puddles, and mountain bikes in a rainbow of colors filled the lobby of the Nashville Police Department.
They were gifts for Brown County children from employees in Cummins’ Purchasing, Supplier Quality and Sourcing departments, delivered just before Christmas.
Each year, the Cummins group collects money and buys bicycles for children instead of gifts for each other, employee Matt Cook said. They rotate which surrounding county will get the bikes.
On Dec. 18, 19 of them were unloaded from trucks and crowded into the police training room alongside toys that were dropped off earlier in the day by an anonymous donor.
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“Overwhelming,” Assistant Chief Tim True said about the donations.
A couple days earlier, officers had just taken 83 children shopping with more than $12,000 in donations to Shop With a Cop — one of the biggest donation totals in recent memory.
“Even the kids we couldn’t take, we were able to get gift cards for; now this,” True said.
“I think the hardest part is going to be figuring out how we’re going to get rid of them,” he said about the bicycles.
The NPD ended up distributing them through The Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul Society and Centerstone. A couple of families also called the police department about getting bikes, said Crisis Intervention Advocate Tonya Harden.
This wasn’t the only charitable effort the NPD had a hand in this month. Harden also worked to get children lined up with other forms of aid through Shop With a Cop, the Children’s Auction and the Salvation Army toy drive, so all three efforts were coordinated.
The Brown County Children’s Auction on Dec. 4 raised about $16,000, Harden said. That money was used to buy clothing gift cards for children.
Children who could not attend Shop With a Cop were given those gift cards; then, both groups were encouraged to go to The Salvation Army Dec. 12 to pick out toys that had been donated at the Christmas Light Parade.
President Charles “Buzz” King praised Brown Countians for contributing so much to Christmas aid programs for children this year.
“We do have our problems in this community, but the response from the community is superb,” King said.