CFPD's 'No Shave' Effort Helps Children's Hospital

With the holiday season approaching, an aura of excitement blankets the whole community as stores start to have Christmas specials and holiday music starts playing anywhere there is a speaker.

For most, this time of year is a time for cheer, jolliness and giving; a time to spend time with friends and family and be surrounded by those you love. For many of the patients at Texas Children’s Hospital, however, going home for the holidays is not something they will be able to look forward to.

Knowing this, CFISD police officers have taken it upon themselves to make these children’s holidays a little bit brighter. The officers are participating in No Shave November and Goatee December, a fundraiser that will use the money they raised to buy gifts for children in the hospital.

“To participate, every officer has to pay $40 that we give to a coordinator in our department, then that coordinator takes care of the disbursement of the funds to Texas Children’s Hospital,” said Officer Paul Hindman, Cypress Woods High School campus officer. “We’re using the money to buy gifts for the children, and then the remaining money we raise is going to be donated to the hospital.”

According to Chief of Police Eric Mendez, the original purpose of No Shave November was to raise awareness for men’s health and cancer awareness; however, the officers altered the purpose of the fundraiser for their cause.

“Since our primary focus is on students, we felt donating to Texas Children’s Hospital was in line with our beliefs and focus on protection of youth. We are here to ensure student success,” Mendez said. “Since a majority of those who serve are under the age of 19, we felt that [the hospital] was the best place to donate.”

The community can help contribute to Texas Children’s Hospital through another upcoming event.

“For anyone else who would like to donate, [the officers] are doing another fundraiser called ‘Tip a Cop’ at Willie’s Ice House,” Hindman said. “The officers will shadow the servers as they are serving meals and will drop a flyer at each table explaining why we’re there and if they want to leave a tip, aside from what they leave for their server, to the officer to donate. 100 percent of those funds will be given to the hospital.”

Tip a Cop will be held at Willie’s Ice House on Barker Cypress and 290 on Nov. 27. Mendez also said to contact the campus officer if a student or faculty member has questions about donating. Additional contributions include that of Cypress Woods PALs students who will be helping create decorations for the children.

“The PALs are making poster boards to put onto the children’s hospital room doors. (The officers) are going to deliver toys to the kids, and they thought it would be a cool thing to decorate their doors,” PALs teacher Nikki Self said. “My PALs have made 50 door signs for them with a place for the child’s name to be put in when the officers visit the hospital.”

Decorating the doors are not the only thing PALs students have been doing. They will also be helping in the construction of the gifts to the children.

“The officers are using their money to collect, decorate and stuff stockings,” Self said.

Mendez believes that the help of the PALs students is very important for the fundraiser. He thinks that having the PALs involved will help the officers with their busy schedules.

“The PALs help is tremendous in preparing the items for the hospital. Without them it would be difficult for us to get it all ready,” Mendez said. “As you can imagine, the officers have a large workload during the day and when you include all the work they put in after their main day with athletics and other school district events, there just isn’t enough time in the day for us to get it done.”

Self and Hindman believe that this fundraiser is very important so that the officers can bring the children some joy for the holidays.

“I think that anytime the officers get a chance to help the community, we really appreciate the opportunity to give back,” Hindman said. “I hope to gain a sense of knowing that I’ve helped somebody; especially somebody like these kids, who are not going to be able to leave [the hospital] and spend time with their families, so if we can bring a little bit of happiness to them, it’s a very important thing.”

Self believes that giving back to people in need can be more than just spending money. She hopes that her students realize that there is more to give than just money.

“This is an opportunity that doesn’t cost any money. I think that a lot of our students think that in order to serve you have to put money into it, so this is something that they can continue to give of themselves that doesn’t have any financial backing into it; it really only requires time and enthusiasm,” Self said.

Although one of the main themes of the holiday season is to give gifts and be generous, Self thinks that there is more to generosity than material items.

“I think during the holiday season we get very caught up in thinking about what we’re going to buy for others and we forget about what we can just give to others,” Self said. I think [this is] a great lesson for all individuals to learn; that it’s important to do things that are simple which can make a huge difference to others. It’s simple things that can make as big a difference as those huge monetary contributions.”

Photo: CFISD Police Officer Paul Hindman, right, campus officer for Cypress Woods High, sports a beard as he chats with Assistant Principal John Allbritton between classes. Hindman is growing out his beard for "No Shave November" to help raise funds for Texas Children’s Hospital. Photo by Sarah Wheeler, Cypress Woods High.

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