Just before Christmas, the Grayville Police Department hosted their annual Grayville “Shop with a Cop” program. The Little Wabash Fire Protection District-to include several commissioners-and their families also volunteered their time for this special program.
Each year, the program continues to grow, as more children participate, according to Fire Chief Travis Thompson. In his seven years participating, he’s seen the number of children rise from about 18 to the current count of 26, which is largely due to the amount of donations received allowing the program to offer the opportunity to more children.
Normally, each officer is paired with a child, and assists with tracking money spent and ensuring that each child picked out items they really wanted for Christmas. Thompson noticed that this year, there were less siblings than in years past, which stretched the six GPD and LWFPD officers a little thin trying to help out each child.
The cadre of police officers, firefighters and families met with the children and their families at the Carmi Wal-Mart at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 21, ready to shop. Each of the 26 children were given $200 to use in the store: $100 to be used towards clothing and shoes items, and the remaining $100 towards toys, all thanks to the generous donations provided by members and businesses within and outside the community. Each family was also given a ham or a turkey to enjoy for a holiday meal.
Thompson confessed, “…one of the kids I helped, they picked out a couple of outfits, and was ready to head to the toys.” He then noted how the mother and child discussed how there was still more money that needed to be spent on clothing, and the child “…told their mom “well mom, let’s go pick you out something,” I just thought that was sweet to see kids thinking about their parents.” Both he and the mom told the child that this was all for them. Of course, many toys were chosen shortly after.
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