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Ripon Police volunteers playing Santa this year for needy kids
Ripon Police volunteers display some of the toys they have purchased with their funds for needy kids. Members of the Ripon Volunteers in Police Services (VIPS) seen from left are Jim Harris, Bea Azevedo, Rich Searcy and Brian Heath. - photo by Photo courtesy Ripon Police Department

RIPON - It will be a police volunteer “Special Delivery Program” this year in conjunction with the Ripon Fire Department that is planned to help Santa in his rounds to some Ripon homes.

The Volunteers in Police Services (VIPS) has been working hard this holiday season to assist area families struck by the sagging economy.  The group has received toy donations from the Ripon Lions Club with bicycle donations coming from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the VFW Women’s Auxiliary.

VIPS members traveled recently to Berkeley to a meeting of the California Financial Crimes Investigators Association where they were given additional toy donations for their program.

In addition to donating toys and bicycles, the police volunteers have made cash donations to the Ripon Interfaith Ministries.  The VIPS also donated $500 for Thanksgiving and another $500 for Christmas to Interfaith to assist local families in need.

VIPS President Rich Searcy said the money the group is donating is not from public funds but from the group’s refreshment sales at the annual Emergency Vehicle Show held at the Community Center.

For anyone wishing to add their donations to aid the VIPS program or wanting to become a volunteer, they may call Searcy at 599-0266.