October 30, 2020

‘Shop with a Cop’ brings Christmas smiles to local kids

Officers, students, and other volunteers at last week’s ‘Shop with a Cop’ event at Target in Carrollton (Photo: Tina Holcomb)

(Franklin, GA) — The smiles on their little faces showed the joy of giving. Local police officers partnered with Heard County special needs children last week Saturday for the second annual ‘Shop with a Cop.’

Uniformed officers escorted the kids to the Carrollton Target location and followed them through the aisles as they carefully selected toys, games and other holiday gifts.

Down Syndrome West Georgia, the Franklin Police Department, and Heard County Elementary School partnered to plan the event. The groups raised enough funds through sponsors and by selling raffle tickets for every child to have $100 to spend.

All 31 special needs kids from the Heard County School system were able to participate in the excitement which included meeting Santa Claus himself.

In addition to the officers from the FPD, volunteers and personnel from the Heard County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia State Patrol, Carroll County Sheriffs Office, and members and coaches of the Lady Braves varsity basketball team also assisted with the shopping.

Event organizer and Down Syndrome West Georgia co-founder Tina Holcomb was very pleased to be able to help many more kids than the inaugural event in 2016.

“Last year we were only able to take 13 kids, so we were so excited to be able to do more this year. Hopefully we will be able to expand the program next year as well. It really was a great event. I think the officers and volunteers had more fun the kids,” said Holcomb this week.

Heard Elementary student Brady Dearth with Santa at last week’s ‘Shop with a Cop’ in Carrollton (Photo: Tina Holcomb)

Target supplied the kids with breakfast prior to the shopping and the group went on to enjoy a pizza lunch at the American Pie Pizzeria before heading back to Heard County.

Holcomb is thankful for all the efforts to make the day so special for the kids.

“I just want to say thank you to everyone that helped to make this possible. All the teachers, officers, and volunteers did an amazing job. This is absolutely my favorite day of the year,” said Holcomb.

“Just seeing all those kids and their excitement is what Christmas is all about. When you have a volunteer say that they will never look at things the same way again — then you know it’s been a special day.”

Franklin Police Chief Kevin Hannah says his officers enjoyed the day as much if not more than the kids did.

“Being able to spend time with the students, staff, volunteers, and other law enforcement agencies is extremely enjoyable for us. In fact, I think we enjoy this event as much or more than our young shoppers,” says Chief Hannah.

“Witnessing the excitement and smiling faces, certainly placed me in the Christmas spirit. I would also like to thank everyone that supported this event, making this year’s ‘Shop with a Cop’ such a huge success.”

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