The parents of fallen officers experience unimaginable sadness when they are forced to say goodbye to their son or daughter too soon. This sorrow can never be forgotten or overcome, which is why AFP&CC remembers the surviving parents each year on Mothers' Day and Fathers' Day by sending a card and small memento to be held as a keepsake. This gesture reminds parents that they are not alone in their grief and recognizes their loss, bringing comfort on what is often a difficult day.
The North Pole, as it has been appropriately nicknamed, was established in 1989. Because of an increasing need due to the rapidly growing number of survivor children who lost a parent in the line of duty and seeking to be in the gift program, it became necessary to construct a physical area capable of handling the requests and presents necessary to operate a national gift program. Today more than 900 children from almost every state in the United States and Puerto Rico participate in the gift program.
The North Pole is very active throughout the entire year handling birthday gifts for each and every child and young person in the program. The peak period when volunteers and special elves are most active is during the months of September and October when activities ramp up for the heavy volume brought on by the upcoming holidays. It is during this time when all children and young people, ages 0 to 17 years old, within the program will be receiving specially selected gifts and their parent(s) will also be receiving a card and a unique ornament gift as well. In 2016 gifts, ornaments and cards were sent out to more than 13,000 survivor children, parents and spouses through the compassions of the gift program.