Shop With A Cop will hold its first county-wide shopping event, and with an increase in children participating this year, event coordinators hope for an increase in funding as well.
With only two weeks left for fundraising, law enforcement officers are encouraging the community to donate to Shop With A Cop. The program helps less fortunate children in the community by setting aside a day for the children to shop side-by-side with a member of local law enforcement.
“What’s great about Shop With A Cop is that 100 percent of donations goes to the children,” said Emerson Police Chief Stan Bradley.
The event will take place on Dec. 9 at a disclosed location where all participants will begin the day with a catered breakfast followed by a police-escorted motor coach ride to the Cartersville Walmart. Each child will receive $150, $100 of which the children must use to buy clothing and shoes. The other $50 will go toward whatever else the child chooses to purchase. Bradley said, “Often the children use the $50 to buy Christmas presents for family members.”
This will be the first year Shop With A Cop will include the whole Bartow County area, as opposed to the last three years when the event included Emerson only. This year, less fortunate children from 11 different elementary schools will be paired with a member of the law enforcement community.
“We expect to have around 350 children participate this year,” said Bradley. “Because we have expanded the area we are covering, we will have a lot more children.”
Everyone who runs Shop With A Cop is a volunteer. To participate in the event, the child’s elementary school must have previously determined the eligibility of the child. Last year 88 children participated in Shop With A Cop.
Bradley explained that one reason he promotes the event is because it allows underprivileged children to see officers and law enforcement in a different light. In some cases, these children have seen their parents get arrested by a police officer. Shop With A Cop allows children to spend the day with an officer, which helps children understand that officers are there for them and are people the children can rely on. Bradley encouraged doners to remember the event is all about helping less fortunate children have a day just about them.
Donations will be accepted at the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office or Emerson Police Department during regular business hours. Checks should be made out to Bartow County Shop With A Cop. Donations are also accepted at the Cartersville Walmart. A tax deduction receipt can be given upon request.
For more information on ways to donate, contact BCSO at 770-382-5050.