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APD growing ‘Hair for the Holidays’

Forget “No Shave November.” Adairsville Police Department is returning the Hair for the Holidays fundraiser.

“For years I have heard of the ‘No Shave November’ program for various fundraisers, to include cancer research. When I became chief, I decided to implement the idea, but spice it up and add to it. Between my military and law enforcement careers, I have been shaving for nearly 25 years — it gets old,” Adairsville police chief Arnold Gillman said. “I didn't want to limit it to just one month, as it takes some longer than others to grow a beard, so I named it Hair for the Holidays with the intent that all monies raised would go to Shop With a Hero here in Bartow County.”

Raising over $1,000 in 2014, the department hopes to bring in the same amount this year.

From now to December, each officer wishing to participate pays $20 per month to grow out facial hair. Because of other employment, part-time officers do not participate.

Women are tasked with finding other alternatives.

“The women in the department participate as well, but by other means,” Gillman said. “They donate monetarily, but come up with creative ideas for them to have fun with the same program.”

Saying his agency is blessed with community support, the chief encouraged public participation.

“If they wish to grow a beard and make monetary, toy or food donations, then by all means join in,” Gillman said. “For money or unopened, unwrapped toys, or canned [or] boxed food, they can drop the donations off here at the police department. If they wish to make a monetary donation discreetly, we ask that they go to their local branch of Bank of the Ozarks and tell them the money is for Shop With a Hero, and there is an account set up directly for that program.”

Participating in the countywide program for needy children brings more benefits to APD than months of no shaving.

“Every employee here at APD love SWAH and looks forward to it every year. It is a heart-tugging and humbling experience, especially for a new, young officer who hasn't had the exposure to things such as this before,” Gillman said. “Having the opportunity to help children or a family receive a Christmas they may otherwise not be blessed with is a feeling that cannot be put into words.”

For more information or to make a donation to Shop With a Hero, visit http://www.shopwithahero.net/.

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