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 get 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 not be having any kind of Christmas due to 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 fundraisers throughout the year, money is raised and put onto Walmart gift cards.  Each officer there is assigned a child (ages 5-17) and given a gift card of $100 in order 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 Clause himself because he loves to see the smiling faces on each child participating.


There is an application process in order to participate.  The schools also provide names of children they know are in need and who may not be aware of the program.  The applications are available on the Indian River County virtual backpack the closer time comes to the event.  The applications will also become available on this website once that time closes near.  Unfortunately not all of the children are able to participate due to the overwhelming number of applicants.  The qualifications that are looked for 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 looked at and carefully considered, it is very difficult for the officers having to review 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 the Sebastian Police Department and ask for Officer Ashley Penn (772-589-5233 ext. 8573) or the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office and ask to speak with Deputy Roberta Barker (772-978-6248).  Thank you in advance for the support you will show these kids and our community.


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