The Pleasanton Police Officers Association Charitable Foundation (PPOACF) is committed to giving back to the community as well as supporting law enforcement families when they are in need. The foundation exists to establish and support organizations and activities that serve the community of Pleasanton and surrounding areas. It also helps the greater law enforcement family when needed.
"We focus on these two groups because we believe police officers are a part of the community they serve," says Suzanne Holland, City of Pleasanton Records Clerk.
"This is not just a job to us. It is a relationship between the residents and the officers and support staff who spend a third or more of their lives working to keep Pleasanton a safe and a great place to live."
The charitable foundation gives to the community in a variety of ways. "We give scholarships to students at all three high schools every year," says Holland. "We provide bicycles to children who need a way to get to school. When we hear about needs in the community or our law enforcement family, we respond and give money and other resources."
PPOACF is a collaboration between Pleasanton Police Officers Association members, Pleasanton City Employees Association members, and police volunteers who are all generous with their time. "Records personnel, dispatchers, police officers, and volunteers from our department give their time and work together to serve above and beyond the duties of their regular jobs," notes Holland.
Certain activities have become a tradition for the foundation. Each year during the holidays, for example, PPOACF sponsors The Giving Tree program, which matches residents in need with donors willing to provide holiday gifts. "Generous citizens come into the police department and 'adopt' people who do not have the means to provide gifts for the holidays," says Holland.
"Our unique role in the community often brings us into contact with people in need. With their permission, we make their requests known to the people who adopt the families. Our wonderful Pleasanton residents usually adopt all the families very quickly. They buy the gifts, and we facilitate getting them to the families."
As part of its service, members of PPOACF provide gifts for any of the families not adopted. The foundation also purchases a number of gift cards for elderly Pleasanton residents who do not have family nearby and who live on fixed incomes. The Giving Tree program generally runs from the end of November through the first two weeks of December. In 2018, the program ends December 19.
The members of PPOACT also support individuals in need when possible. Not long ago the foundation became aware of an elderly resident who was too frail to maintain her home. After the interior was found to be in unlivable condition, the PPOACT stepped in to help. "We collaborated with our teenage Pleasanton Police Explorers to clean the person's living space so she could return home," says Holland. "If we find a need, we do our best to find a way to help."
That includes helping fellow Pleasanton police officers in times of need. Recently Officer Kyle Henricksen was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. The foundation is organizing the community to help raise funds for the officer's medical treatment and related costs for his family. One way to support Henricksen and other PPOACT efforts is by attending the Pleasanton Police Officers Association First Annual Crab Feed at the Pleasanton Senior Center from 5 pm to 10 pm on February 9, 2019.
For more information about the Pleasanton Police Officers Association Charitable Foundation, please visit the Pleasanton Police Officers Association Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PleasantonPOA.
For more information about the First Annual Crab Feed, please visit www.eventbrite.com/e/pleasanton-police-officers-association-1st-annual-crab-feed-tickets-50927337036.