Christmas Cheer to 400 Kids: Shop with a Cop
Shop With A Cop, which brings holiday cheer to a host of local children, is thriving thanks to a compassionate law enforcement community and the generosity of a committed citizenry.
It is December and time for Shop With A Cop to begin. The program provides Christmas for children who would have little or no Christmas. Over the past several years SWAC has provided a little Christmas cheer to approximately 400 children each year in Macon County. Each child is given a $100 gift card to ‘Shop With A Cop’ at Walmart in Franklin. The children who are recommended to participate in this program are recommended to Sherriff Robbie Holland by teachers, churches, police officers, neighbors and family members who see the child or children will have little or no Christmas. Applications for the children are filled out by these individuals and given to the Macon County Sheriff’s department. In this year of the pandemic and unemployment it is thought there will be many more applications for SWAC children.
The children will be asked to buy something for themselves and something for someone else. Then with the remaining funds the children may purchase anything they wish, including necessities for the home. This was not allowed a few years ago but Sheriff Robbie and his officers saw there was a a great need.
Due to the lack of enough officers to help the children shop. others volunteer their time to assist with this heart warming event. There are teachers, Forestry personnel, people from the various parts of the military, churches and so on. The children shop with these individuals. Then they are treated to a meal at a fast food restaurant in Franklin. The children are helped with the wrapping of their gifts, also.
When all of the applications are received, there will be a selection process for the SWAC children. Then Sheriff Robbie Holland and his team will get in touch with the parents or guardians of the selected SWAC children let them know. Officers and other individuals will be paired with their children. During the month of December the officers will contact the children and parents or guardians. The officers will communicate with them to arrange how they will participate. The shopping will be done differently than as in the past – most of the participants went shopping during the same day at staggered times. Covid has changed all of that.
Sheriff Robbie Holland said…’ we are going to let the officers and the parents determine what is most comfortable for them during this pandemic. Instead of us all going together and at one time… we will do it individually and much safer. I think it’s important for not only the kids and families participating to remain mindful and safe regarding Covid19 but the officers, their families and the many volunteers who always take part to help make our event successful. The last thing I want to create is placing families in quarantine during Christmas but even more importantly to add to the spread of the virus.’
Donations are needed to help these children have a Christmas. Won’t you please consider giving a donation to SWAC? The ladies of Mountain Garden Club are helping to call on businesses and other individuals for donations. If you know a member, you can give them your donation. Other ways are: you can take your donation to the Highlands Police Department or mail the donation to Caroline Cook, P. O. Box 2785, Highlands, NC , 28741. Please make your check out to Shop With A Cop or SWAC. Your donation is tax deductible.
Wouldn’t is be nice to hear a choir of children saying thank you on Christmas Day? Merry Christmas!