The Fort Payne Police Department conducted its second Shop with a Cop event this month.
Through donations from businesses and individuals, the volunteers were able to provide Christmas gifts to 20 local children, along with gift certificates for their families.
Lt. David Barnes is the coordinator for the event. He said the department had approximately 26 volunteers to assist the children shopping at Walmart and spend time with participating families.
He said it was good to see the smiles from the children and the parents.
“I loved it. It was heartwarming just to see the smile on the kids’ faces,” he said.
Each child was allotted $150 and that was broken down into toys, clothes and other necessities they may have needed. The parents of participating children also received $50 gift certificates to Cracker Barrel, and three larger families received additional gift cards to Walmart.
Barnes said there are many people to thank for their help to make this year’s event a success.
“I want to thank everybody in the community that donated,” he said. “I would like to personally thank the parents for allowing their children to be a part of the event, and I would like to thank Walmart and their participation for letting us do this.”
Barnes also thanked Bobby Ledbetter, of Twin City Used Cars, for allowing them to use a 23-passenger bus to transport the children to Walmart from the police department and Fort Payne Police Chief Randy Bynum for supporting the event and allowing the officers to participate.
This year’s shopping event grew by five children from 2018, and Barnes said they will be hosting the event again next year.