Editor: Shannon Cottongame
December 15, 2021
Hill County CARES (HCC) recently presented a check to the Hill County Sheriff’s Office and the Blue Santa program in Whitney. The checks are designated to assist children in Hill County with Christmas gifts.
HCC, a non-profit organization, was started in 2016 by Kay Harris and her late husband, Joe Dan. Their vision, motivation and passion for connecting youth with first responders and law enforcement was to build trust, positive relationships, support and encouragement.
Members are expressing thanks to all Hill County citizens who have helped make the HCC dream a reality. Kay Harris has moved from this area, and the organization disbanded November 30.
HCC was a joint outreach between schools, churches and youth and adult organizations across Hill County. Some of the activities included creating trading cards with pictures of firefighters, law enforcement and other first responders to hand out to youth so they could meet, get to know each other and earn points for prizes.
HCC prepared snack sacks for youth going to summer camp before they were escorted out of town for camp by supportive law enforcement personnel.
The group also took part in Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, participated in city and chamber of commerce events with youth handing out water and flyers about HCC.
Youth wrote letters of appreciation to first responders, and law enforcement and firefighters on occasion went into schools to speak with and encourage youth, while HCC provided gift cards at student appreciation events.
Fundraisers were held by the adults so that funds could be available to support Hill County children and youth events. Chocolates, handmade by Holly Harris in the shape of firefighters and law enforcement emblems, were delivered to each department in Hill County as appreciation gifts.
Harris encourages the citizens of Hill County to continue building positive relationships between all first responders, children and youth.