The 114-year-old tradition

In 1905 Captain Ernest Marquardt and the officers of the Central Police Station (now known as Hunt Street Station) introduced putting a Christmas tree in the lobby to collect gifts for the less fortunate children. They would place gifts on the branches of the tree for the children in the neighborhood who “would not be seeing Santa”. This became a staple tradition of the precinct. However, after Captain Marquardt was promoted to the DPD superintendent in 1915, there are not many records of this tradition continuing.

Insert the founding of Hunt Street Station. When the officers of the Central Police Station began this tradition, we doubt they knew it would continue over 100 years later. In 2018, after we discovered this tradition through research, we decided to continue the legacy of Captain Ernest Marquardt and his officers with our Hunt Street Station Giving Tree.

Our community is the backbone of who we are

We want to be a staple of an organization that is community-minded. So in 2018, we partnered with the 7th police precinct and their Sergeant Santa initiative to help raise money and provide gifts for two families in our neighborhood. Thanks to the help of our members and friends, we ended up raising over $1,000 and tons of gifts. Not only did we support our families, but also additional families in the neighborhood as well.

This year we have the privilege to help 2 low-income mothers and their children who live in our neighborhood. We also decided to up the ante, and are attempting to raise $1,500! We are doing this in hopes of not only providing necessities for these families, but also a little extra for the single mother’s.

In one family, we have children who are enthusiastic about cooking but don’t have enough cookware to do so. In the other family, we have a young boy who loves to play basketball but doesn’t have a ball. This is the reason why we’re asking for your help, to make their dreams come true! ho ho ho!

Where to donate

If you are interested in partaking in our giving tree initiative this year, you can donate to our GoFundMe Page. For those who donate more than $35, you’ll receive an awesome Hunt Street Station beanie!

If you are unable to donate cash that is okay, we are also accepting other donations! We’ve compiled a list here: Hunt Street Station Giving Tree List Here you can provide clothes, comforters, and other necessities for these families.

We hope you can partake in this wonderful tradition. If you have any questions about donating or are interested in being involved in other ways, contact our Community Manager Alex at

Happy Holidays!