Winnie Anne Wright
December 16, 2013
Valdosta - 26 children from across Valdosta participated in "Shop with a Cop" on Monday night. Faces lit up all over the WalMart on Inner Perimeter Road as kids picked out Christmas presents for themselves and loved ones.
"My favorite part of Shop with a Cop was getting some legos and getting a new bike" says Kristian Meeks, "Shop with a Cop" Participant.
The program aims to make the holiday season a little brighter for impoverished children. Each child this year got over $200 to spend, but the event organizer says it isn't all about the presents. His favorite part is the lasting impression the cops leave on these children.
"Most officers build a relationship with the child outside of the "Shop with a Cop" program. They will exchange numbers and the officer will become like a mentor. If that child needs someone to speak to, they will go to that officer, if the child has problems in school, they will go to that officer. So that's one of the greatest things to come out of it, that officer is now that child's officer", says Officer Vernotis Williams, the event's organizer.
"Shop with a Cop" has been helping the children of Valdosta for more than ten years.