The following is a republished press release from a community organization or member and NOT written by the Ithaca Voice … to submit community announcements to The Voice, contact us at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com.

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Ithaca Police Department Chief of Police John R. Barber is pleased to announce that once again IPD and Dunkin Donuts have teamed up to help the Ithaca community.

Starting this week IPD vehicles will be equipped with backpacks filled with all the essentials to bring a smile to any child’s face. The backpacks contain a stuffed animal, a coloring book,crayons, and a box of tissues. The backpacks aren’t just for every kid, though. Officers will be handing out backpacks exclusively to kids who officers think could use a bright spot in their day.

The backpacks are bright orange in color and they have a Dunkin Donuts logo on them so they’re easily recognizable to the kids as a resource to brighten their day.

The backpack idea was created by Roy Clark, a Dunkin Donuts entrepreneur who owns over 75 Dunkin Donuts stores throughout Northeast America. Mr. Clark teamed with IPD in the spring and summer of 2015 in the widely successful “Coffee with the Mayor and Chief of Police” program.

Regarding the backpack program Chief Barber stated “The concept for this program is for IPD officers to have something on hand to provide to a child that they encounter who is crying or otherwise having a tough time. I am so thankful for Roy’s generosity to the Ithaca community. This is yet another great program for Ithaca, and I am truly thankful for Roy’s kindness and grace.”

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.