‘Store with a Cop’ comes via in difficult 12 months | Information, Sports activities, Jobs
Marshalltown law enforcement has launched a successful Shop with a Cop program delivering gifts to 70 local children.
The police had to do something different than in previous years. Usually, the children recommended by the schools or various organizations can go to Walmart with the officials to spend $ 100 on gifts. That year, the department’s children sent a wish list that officers used to show them down the aisles of the store.
Officer Andrew Cole said it was a tremendous teamwork that involved multiple departments and volunteers including the Marshalltown Police Department, SWAT, and community members.
“It was kind of an operation. Eight officers did the shopping, a couple of officers picked up bags from our little elf shop at the Legion to wrap and label them. “ he said. “It worked out pretty well for us, all in all.”
The community showed their spirit of donation again this year and donated more than US $ 20,000 to the program. With the overwhelmingly positive support, Cole said the fraternal police force was sure to continue providing effective programs to local youth.
“Money just seemed to keep coming. We are now able to maintain our program and reallocate some of the funds that we would otherwise divert to Shop with a Cop and use them for other activities we would like to support. “ he said. “Our goal is for the children of Marshalltown to have a positive childhood.”
The pandemic didn’t slow ‘Shop with a Cop’ but it may have affected some of the children’s wish lists. Cole said board games, crafts, and family activities were more popular this year than any other year he can remember in his 12 years with the program.
“To be honest, I don’t remember board games being popular items. I’ve never seen so many people ask about board games and crafts. “ he said. “It’s fun to see that during the quarantine, families came together more to spend more time doing things that I used to do. When I was a kid, one of the most popular things to do was sit together and play a board game. “
Some of the board games that were popular this year were Battleship and Guess Who. Other popular gifts included Roblox, LOL dolls, Nerf guns, and video games.
The children didn’t just ask for presents for themselves, either. Many asked for gifts for siblings who were not referred to the program and other family members.
“A girl was going to visit her stepbrother for Christmas, so she asked for Duplo Blocks so he could have an opening toy.” Said Cole. “Another wanted sweatshirts for his grandfather and mother. It really draws on your heart and makes you feel good when these kids think of the others around them. “
Since the children could not take part in the shopping, there was more interaction with the parents than in previous years, which also led to some touching moments.
“One of the last ones I delivered (Tuesday) night, the mother came out with tears in her eyes.” Said Cole. “You could see that was something worrying. She is afraid that Christmas will come and that she will have nothing for her son. “
Before Christmas, Cole saw children thanking them who were grateful to be reached during the holidays.
“This is one of the first few years I can remember. I have received handwritten thank you letters and several emails from parents to make sure their child’s gratitude has been given.” he said. “The time was incredible. Shopping, packing, delivering – hundreds of hours were involved. “
“I want to thank the Marshalltown Ward for giving me the opportunity and giving the police the opportunity to continue this event.” he added. “Without the support of our community and the dollars, this program wouldn’t exist. We’re just a middleman. It kind of conveys that there is still humanity out there. Our community really comes out on top. “
Contact Joe Fisher at 641-753-6611 or [email protected]
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