‘Save Rochester BLM’, others, team up with police to give out gifts to city kids in need

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Monday night in the city, a group of organizations teamed up with Rochester police to spread some cheer to a few of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Save Rochester BLM‘, and groups like ‘Exercise Express’ say this gift-run mission at its core is to bring toys to kids who just might not have a Christmas. Another part of this is to bring the police in for help, hoping to improve relationships in tough neighborhoods. 

Organizers say with the constant cycle of poverty, and with the pandemic on top of that, it means for many this holiday season in Rochester, it’s going to be tight. A group of police and others made about a dozen stops, helping to bring seasonal cheer to about a dozen families in need with over 100 gifts.

Tonya Nunnally’s grandkids are getting some of these gifts. She says the fact that police are helping gives the public a chance to see law enforcement in a different light. 

“Well, this of year, when a lot of people are out of work and trying to make ends meet, it’s mean a lot to get some kind of help, and getting them through the holidays — especially with young children,” she says.

Commander Greg Bello with RPD says this is a great opportunity to show this holiday season, we’re all in this together. 

“Anytime we can do trust-building efforts with the community — we’re members of the community too. We all live here. We’re all members of Rochester, Monroe County. This is all one big family. Whatever we can do to help bridge those gaps and bring this community back together we’re thrilled and super happy to be doing it,” he says.

Karen Rogers with ‘Exercise Express’, one of the organizations helping, says it’s important that police are involved, because the city needs them, and it’s an opportunity to show they are connected and willing to assist.

“It takes a community, it takes a village. We are noticing that many clients are suffering because they’re not going back to their jobs, they’re not getting as many hours, and there’s a real struggle for families in our community,” says Rogers.

The families getting gifts also received $100 gift cards for food.

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