As a school resource officer, Carmel Police Dept.’s Sarah Livingston is passionate about helping children.
So, it made sense she would get involved with the department’s second Holidays with Heroes program. Through the generosity of area businesses and private donors, the CPD helped provide holiday gifts to 40 children from 17 families in 2019.
“We had such a wonderful turnout with the program last year, I wanted to make sure it was just as awesome, if not better, for the kids this year,” said Livingston, who has been with the CPD for 16 years. “With the pandemic, I was concerned we would not have the funds. I volunteered for the challenges as an incentive for community involvement. I just wanted the kids to have an amazing holiday season.”
The CPD already has raised $12,000, surpassing its goal. Additional funds raised will go toward the 2021 program.
Livingston accepted some unpleasant challenges to help with fundraising.
“For reaching $2,500, I ate chocolate-covered grasshoppers,” said Livingston, who was joined by Carmel Police Chief Jim Barlow for that challenge. “For reaching $5,000, I held and kissed a snake.”
At the $7,500 fundraising mark, Livingston was dumped with three 5-gallon buckets of ice water.
For reaching $10,000, arrangements have been made for Livingston to climb Carmel Fire Dept.’s ladder truck and sing “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 23 by CFD Station 41.
“So far, the snake has been the most difficult, although I have a feeling climbing the ladder truck and singing will be pretty scary,” Livingston said.
Livingston said if the total reaches $15,000, it’s possible she will find another ridiculous challenge to tackle.
Donations can be dropped off at CPD headquarters or mailed to Holidays with Heroes, Carmel Police Department, 3 Civic Square, Carmel, IN 46032. Donations will be accepted via cash or check. Checks should be payable to the “Carmel Police Dept. Gift Fund” and have “Holidays with Heroes” in the memo line.