Children get to ‘Shop with a Cop’

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 18, 1999

On Saturday, 37 area children got the chance to &uot;Shop with a Cop&uot; – a event members of the Fraternal Order of Police’s Natchez Lodge No. 4 have held for the last seven years.

They went to Kmart and, with the help of law enforcement officers and other volunteers, filled shopping cart with clothes, shoes and other necessities plus a toy or two – up to $200 worth of items each.

One group went in the morning, after having breakfast with the officers at Lady Luck. Another went in the afternoon after lunch at Natchez Regional Medical Center.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;It gives you a good feeling,&uot; Adams County Deputy Karl Pree Sr. said of his second year taking part in Shop with a Cop. At the time, he was helping 6-year-old Larry Chapman select a jacket.

Although Chapman said he would like some new clothes, he whispered that &uot;a remote control car would be good, too.&uot;

Although some were a little bit shy about telling the officers what they wanted, others were more outgoing, pulling the clothes they liked off the racks.

&uot;Clothes, shoes, toys … I&160;want all of that,&uot;&160;said DeVonte McGowan, 6, who was shopping with Natchez Regional volunteer Becky George. Then McGowan was off to try on a jacket.

&uot;You’re supposed to give of yourself at Christmas, … and every other time of the year, for that matter,&uot;&160;George said.

&uot;This is our way of giving something back to the community.&uot;

Natchez’s shopping trip is one of many held nationwide during the Christmas season.

Donations from businesses like Lady Luck and International Paper and from individuals pay for the event, including the costs of shopping and meals.

Children are picked by schools, welfare agencies, the Salvation Army and other such groups to participate in Shop with a Cop.

Officers from the Adams County Sheriff’s Office and the Natchez and Vidalia police departments, as well as Adams County Constable Ronnie Wells, participated in Saturday’s event.

&uot;How could you not?&uot; said Capt. and Liaison Officer George Rutherford of the Vidalia Police Department, when asked why he chose to take part.

&uot;It’s something that is needed. Without this, their Christmas could be very slim.&uot;