Christmas came early for seven lucky London children on Monday evening.
Officers from the London Police Department and a group of volunteers met at Walmart for the department’s annual “Shop With a Cop” event.
The charitable event serves dual purposes of assisting families in need with providing their children a Christmas, and reinforces a positive image of police officers with those children and the larger community as they help the kids with their shopping.
The London City Police Department was the first police department in the county to do “Shop with a Cop,” according to Detective Donovan Cooper.
This was London’s fifth year in association with the event.
“Prior to doing ‘Shop With a Cop,’ we would collect items and give them to other organizations for their toy drives, and then we got involved with this,” said Cooper.
The police department worked closely with Stacey Jordan, formerly of Madison County Department of Jobs and Family Services (and currently of Franklin County Department of Jobs and Family Services) in identifying families that could use help in making Christmas a little brighter — as well as department officers doing a little sleuthing of their own, Cooper said.
The department has held a fundraiser for a number of years on the night before Thanksgiving at Crown Sports Lounge. Money is raised through raffling off a variety of smaller gift baskets and holding a silent auction for larger items.
This year’s fundraiser benefited from the donations from the following businesses: Crown Sports Lounge, Roosters, O’Reilly, AutoZone, Pepsi Co., Xpress Fitness, Zumba with Mariah, Sherwin Williams, Dwyer’s Hardware, Under Armor, ComfortWorks HVAC, Fine Design and Interiors, Madison Chiropractic and Massage Therapist Jena, Polish Loft, Mabes — Dave Mabe, The Olde Car Wash, Dominos, London State Theater, Star Trophy, Phat Daddy’s, Walmart, Kroger, and McDonalds.
Each one of the seven children was assisted by his or her own cop while making their purchase decisions — and for the very youngest, with loading and pushing the cart.
After the shopping extravaganza, everyone was treated to hot chocolate and cookies.
Reach Andrew Garrett at 740-852-1616, ext. 1616.