The Patrick County Sheriff’s Office 7th annual Shop with a Cop program was deemed a success by participating officers.
Held Saturday, Dec. 10, Inv. Brian Hubbard said about 80 children went shopping with officers at Walmart in Stuart.
“It’s an event where we take underprivileged kids shopping at Walmart, and we spend around $120 on each child,” he said.
Through the program, the children may buy clothing, toys, and essential items, Hubbard said. He added some of the children have even purchased food with the money.
Hubbard said the one rule the officers like to follow is having the children spend half of the funds on clothing items, such as jackets, shoes, and shirts, and the other half can be spent on toys.
Hubbard said the program benefits local families that are having financial trouble. Lists from the local schools of children in need are also sent to the program.
“It definitely benefits on that end, and it takes the pressure off the parents to buy presents. Some kids wouldn’t even have a Christmas if it wasn’t for this program,” Hubbard said.
The program also helps to bridge the gap between children and officers, with several on both sides making lifelong friends.
“When the officer takes the child shopping, they grow a rapport with the child because they’re walking around with the child and talking with the child and the family the whole time they’re buying presents,” he said.
Hubbard estimated the shopping trip took about an hour. A meal provided through Walmart for the kids followed.
“It’s not only a blessing to the kids, but also a blessing to everyone that’s involved, including the volunteers and officers that help,” he said.
The program is 100 percent funded by donations.
Those wishing to donate to the program can do so by reaching out to anyone in the Patrick County Sheriff’s Office or sending a check to the Office at P.O. Box 128 Stuart, VA 24171 with a reference to the Shop with a Cop program.