November 2020 The Community Assistance Program (CAP) is a longstanding tradition presented every year by the Carmel Fire Department (CFD). While there has always been a need for the CAP program in our community, with the current pandemic, that need has grown, and food insecurity is an even greater issue. Won\u2019t you consider helping some of Carmel\u2019s finest this holiday season and join us in supporting CAP? What Is CAP? Since 1967, CFD has delivered food and presents to families in need in Carmel. For more than five decades, CFD, along with the support from local residents and community members, has fed hundreds of at-risk families and countless smiles have appeared on the faces of our community\u2019s children in need of some holiday cheer! Chief David Haboush, Carmel Fire Department, shared, \u201cWe live in a blessed community, and it\u2019s easy to assume that everybody's needs are taken care of. The holidays can be tough for people, and this year, it\u2019s even more difficult because we\u2019re in the middle of a global pandemic. People are in crisis for lots of different reasons: loss of employment, food insecurities, mental illness, and so on and so forth. This program helps bridge that gap that\u2019s been created in our society, and from my perspective, it is so uplifting as it instills hope and humanity in our fellow citizens. CAP embodies what our community is all about and what firefighters stand and hope for.\u201d A Holiday Drive-Thru For once, I get to report on a volunteer event that hasn\u2019t been canceled by COVID-19. The reason why CAP can continue without issue is because it\u2019s basically a drive-thru operation! Carmel firefighter and PIO Tim Griffin shared, \u201cCAP is something you can do with your family during this holiday season and really give back to people in a safe manner. The firefighters will be wearing masks while they are loading up cars and trucks and will keep socially distanced. For me, to see people in their cars, while we load up food and gifts in their trunks with Christmas music blasting in the bays, is what I have envisioned firefighters and community members doing since I was a child. Because of COVID-19, we are going to have more people and families that need our help.\u201d The current CAP chair and CFD firefighter Jeremy Maners is wrapping up his last season as chair before passing the baton to a new chair next year. Maners grew up in Carmel and is part of a multigenerational lineage of firefighters. The CAP program is an annual tradition for his family as they make a day out of it. \u201cCAP provides food baskets for families as well as gifts for anybody under the age of 18,\u201d Maners said. \u201cIn the last few years, we\u2019ve had a lot of community support with sponsoring families and donating money, time and gifts.\u201d Maners shared that CFD provided around 200 families with food and gifts and approximately 175 of those were sponsored by members of the Carmel community. \u201cThe families that weren\u2019t sponsored, CFD takes care of them through funds donated to the department, and we do the shopping for those families. For me personally, the best thing that someone can do is to sponsor a family. My family, as a whole, we all sponsor a couple of families, and we have made a day of it. We go shopping, we buy gifts for everybody and then we come back, have dinner and wrap all the presents. It's really rewarding to be able to do this as a family and give back. Many don\u2019t think of Carmel as having families in need, but there are many, and there are pockets in Carmel that are in extreme need, especially now with so many people being furloughed and laid-off.\u201d Ways You Can Help Support CAP MAKE A DONATION Checks made payable to CFD Auxiliary. Please write \u201cCAP\u201d in the memo line. \u2022 Mail to CFD, Attn: CAP, 2 Civic Square, Carmel, IN 46032. Donations are tax-deductible. BE A SPONSOR Register with CFD by Dec. 1, 2020! Let them know how many children you\u2019d like to purchase gifts for, and they will match you with children in need. \u2022 Email CAP@carmel.in.gov to let CFD know you\u2019d like to be a sponsor. DELIVER FOOD & GIFTS Help deliver food and gifts from CFD Headquarters to families in need on Dec. 12, 2020, 9\u201311 a.m. \u2022 Email CAP@carmel.in.gov to let CFD know you\u2019d like to be a delivery driver. For more information on CFD\u2019s Community Assistance Program, visit, carmelfd.com and click on Department Activities & Events.