The annual Sharp County Shop with a Cop event is approaching, and Chief Deputy Aaron Presser said the department is seeking donations to help provide Christmas for area children.
“For about the last five years, we have been raising money each year and then we get gift cards and give them to children in Sharp County so they can go and buy whatever they want for Christmas,” Presser said.
Not only do area children get the opportunity to go shopping, but they are accompanied by an area law enforcement officer or firefighter.
Each year, officers have shared stories of past experiences shopping with children during the event and the selflessness shown by many of the kids.
“Many times, the kids will want to use their money to buy something for their parents or siblings. They may get something for themselves, but it is completely up to them,” Presser said. “We’ve seen kids use the money to buy food for their homes, clothing they want or need.”
Presser said the Sharp County Shop with a Cop event allows officers a chance to interact positively with area children in a non-stressful situation.
“I remember one year, a boy wanted a bike, so we went and found one that would work for him. A year later, there was a call to go to the house where he lived, and I remember seeing the bike. It still looked brand new, but he had ridden it so much, the tread was worn completely off the tires,” Presser said. “He was still proud of his bike and he was happy when he saw us.”
The date of the upcoming event has not yet been announced, but donations are being collected.
“Every dollar we’re given for this project goes right back out to the community. It is because of the communities support that we are able to do this,” Presser said.
Donations may be made at any FNBC Bank and placed in the Sharp County Shop with a Cop account, or they may be taken to the Sharp County Sheriff’s Office in Ash Flat.