CHARLOTTE COUNTY, FL-Once again members of the law enforcement community are teaming with the area Wal-Marts to provide selected children the opportunity to go Christmas shopping.
The annual ‘Shop with a Cop’ events kick off on Tuesday December 3 at the Wal-Mart Super Center in Murdock, located at 19100 Murdock Circle in Port Charlotte. Between 3 pm and 5 pm, select area children will be matched up with local law enforcement officers to go on a shopping spree.
This year a total of between 110 and 150 children will be supplied with $100 Wal-Mart gift cards to purchase gifts for family members and themselves. The funds are made available from donations received throughout the year as well as from grants received from Wal-Mart’s corporate offices. Donations are still being accepted.
The children who are selected to ‘shop with a cop’ are chosen from students in the second through fifth grades of local schools. School counselors select the children based on any of the following:
- The child needs to develop a positive rapport with law enforcement
- The child has exhibited sound decision making and leadership qualities that provide a good example to their peers
- The child is a victim of a natural disaster or other situation where their family is economically impacted
Sheriff’s Office deputies, Punta Gorda Police officers and Florida Fish and Wildlife officers will be teamed up with the children. After meeting with Santa, they will head out into the store to go through the child’s shopping list. After the children check out at the designated registers, they can take their gifts to volunteers who wrap and tag their presents for them.
There will be three additional “Shop with a Cop” events:
Tuesday December 10 at the Wal-Mart in Englewood
Wednesday December 11 at the Wal-Mart in Punta Gorda
Tuesday December 17 at the Wal-Mart on Kings Highway
Members of the public and the media are invited to attend any of these events to witness first-hand the joys of the Christmas season brought to these children. Anyone wishing to make a donation to assist with the “Shop with a Cop” program can contact Dale Phillips at the Sheriff’s Office’s Mid-County office at (941) 258-3947.