McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

September 24, 2012

Cops For Kids program off to "great" start

By Jeanne LeFlore
Staff Writer


A new program started by a McAlester woman who decided to ‘pay it forward’ after receiving $5 dollars from a stranger is already off to a great start, according to Librarian Christine Sauro of the Mcalester Public Library.
“We already have 10 teddy bears,” Sauro said.
The new project called Cops for Kids was started after Mcalester resident Lucille Martinez received a $5 bill from an unknown woman who told her to ‘have a blessed day.’
 Martinez said the gift inspired her to use the money for something good.
She said she contacted the McAlester Police Department about starting a project to collect new stuffed animals for the officers to give to children who are involved in accidents or in crisis situations. 
“I went to the police department and I spoke with Assistant chief Darrell Miller and he said he would be more than glad to start this program.”
 Martinez who is a long time volunteer for the Literacy Council at the McAlester Public Library said  she shared her idea with Sauro. And she said she asked her if the library could be part of the program, Sauro said she thought it was a wonderful idea.
“We were very excited to be a part of this,” Sauro said.
And already Martinez said she’s had several calls from people who would like to help and to donate.
“I went to the Shriner’s circus on Thursday and when I got back I had all these phone calls, it’s just been wonderful,” Martinez said.
The project is expected to run through the holidays and will be a yearly project, according Martinez.  “We hope to collect enough stuffed animals for the department to use through out the year,” Martinez said.
She said a playpen has been set up at the McAlester Public Library and donations of new stuff animals can be dropped off during business hours.
For more information contact the Literacy Council at 918-421-4931.
Contact Jeanne LeFlore at