Shop With A Cop

You may have seen flyers or heard about Shop with a Cop, but does anyone really know what it is?  Shop with a Cop is a yearly event where members of different law enforcement agencies come together and donate their own time to give the children of our community a Christmas to remember.  The program/event is geared towards children/families who may be facing financial restraints or sometimes do not even have a home to go to at the end of each day. Our community is filled with so many children who feel the burden of their families every day.  With the assistance of donations and fundraising events throughout the year, money is raised to purchase Walmart gift cards.  Each officer is assigned a child (ages 5-17) and given a gift card of $100 to go shopping.


In order to visualize the event, picture 2 busses filled with children being escorted by many police cars, with light and sirens, traveling down US Highway 1 towards Walmart.  Bystanders, stopped and confused by what is happening, watch as these children are on their way to enjoy the spirit of Christmas.  Do the children spend all of the money on just themselves? No, these children, knowing how much they have to spend, selflessly spend most of their time and money searching for the perfect gift they want to give a family member or friend.  The officers that are shopping with them are filled with joy because they see the excitement on each child’s face.  The event is not just rewarding to the child who was selected to participate, but extremely rewarding to the law enforcement personnel involved in making it happen.  After the main event, Walmart provides a meal for each child to eat before being released to a parent/guardian.  Also present, is Santa Claus himself because he loves to see the smiling faces on each child participating.


There is an application process to participate.  The schools also provide names of children they know are in need and who may not be aware of the program.  Applications are available on the Indian River County virtual backpack as the event approaches. Applications will also become available on this website once that time is near.  Unfortunately, not all of the children are able to participate due to the overwhelming number of applicants.  The qualifications considered are:  have not participated before, meet the age requirement (5-17), live in Indian River County, and are in need of assistance.  Each application is reviewed and carefully considered for approval.  It is very difficult for the officers reviewing the applications because they want to include all of the children.


Please help support this great cause.  There are ways to be involved throughout the year.  For additional information on how to participate or what you can do to help, please contact Officer Ashley Penn with the Sebastian Police Department at (772) 589-5233 ext. 8573 or the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office at (772) 978-6248.  Thank you in advance for the support you will show these kids and our community.


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