Shop with a Cop continuing in altered form
For nearly 30 years, hundreds of children gathered the Sunday before Christmas to go shopping, courtesy of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 34’s annual Shop with a Cop program.
This year, like so many other things, the program will operate a little differently.
Lodge President Lee Murray said they did not want to take the health risk of having hundreds of children and family members in addition to dozens of local law enforcement officers and volunteers in one place to do the actual shopping.
“What we’re doing is a wish list,” Murray said. “We’re taking 10 kids from each school. The counselors will do the shopping. We’ll meet the families and give them their presents” at another time.
Murray said the school counselors have always chosen the children to participate in the program, he said, and will do so again this year. The counselors will get a “wish list” from each child, to guide the shopping.
Typically, an officer and other volunteers would take children shopping personally. In recent years, each child had $125 to spend on clothes and some toys.
“We’ve never had to do anything like this before,” Murray said.
This year, Murray said they are anticipating a smaller event, but it will depend on the amount raised for the effort. Fundraising is still ongoing, he said.
Though it is taking a different form, Murray said they knew they needed to continue this year.
“We definitely wanted to do something,” he said. “We know some kids won’t have much of a Christmas without this.”