WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Wichita Falls Boys and Girls Club has been serving thousands of kids in our community since 1929, an act that oftentimes leaves our local clubs in need of new gear.

“Equipment is the hardest thing to keep nice. You have thousands of kids coming through, they are all dribbling the same basketballs you know they’re bumping into everything and they’re just being kids you know how it is at home,” Boys and Girls Club Director of Programs Cara Sauceda said.

That’s the reason Sauceda says this donation from the Wichita Falls Police Department mean so much.

“It’s amazing watching these officers give so much of their time and efforts towards this. The officers each had to donate in order to break protocol and grow their beards out and they did this for months. They gave of their own pockets so that the kids in this community could have something new and something to be proud of,” Sauceda said.

The Back the Beard campaign is what made this all possible.

Officers grow facial hair in exchange for a monetary donation and with those funds, the Wichita Falls Police Officers Association is able to purchase items like games, basketballs and even flat screen TVs for our local Boys and Girls Clubs.

Sgt. Charlie Eipper says he’s proud it’s something they’re able to do.

“It just fills our heart with gladness that they get to see in a way that we’re not just telling them we care for them that we get to show them and they get to see it through tangible items that they need in their clubs,” Eipper said.

Items these children are surely grateful for.

“A big thank you to the Wichita Falls Police Department as well as the Police Officers Association because without them it would be a much different place around here,” Sauceda said.

“It was the donations that came in from our citizens that helped to do this, so we just started the program so thank you Wichita Falls for helping us to provide for our kids,” Eipper said.

Providing many items that will make a difference in the lives of our youth for years to come.