POMEROY/MASON — More than 100 Meigs County children spent time on Monday with local first responders as part of the 7th annual Shop with a Cop event.
What began as a small group of children shopping with sheriff’s deputies a few years ago has grown to a “Shop with First Responders and Friends” event made possible by the donations of local businesses and individuals, as well as Loyalty is Forever fundraisers. More than 50 first responders, family members and friends took part in the event.
Sheriff Keith Wood said it is “heartwarming” to see the community of first responders, businesses and many others come together to benefit the area children.
“I am very appreciative of everyone who donated. It has been record-setting with people all over the county taking part,” said Sheriff Wood. “It is amazing how everyone has stepped up.”
The morning began with the children arriving at the Meigs County Council on Aging for breakfast which was provided by the Council on Aging’s Close to Home Catering.
After breakfast, the children boarded three Meigs Local school buses to travel in a parade with the first responders as they made their way to Wal-Mart to shop.
Once at Wal-Mart, the children were divided into small groups with the first responders and friends to shop.
Each child was allowed to spend up to $150 on items for themselves. They were required to get one “necessity” item such as shoes or a coat.
Representatives from the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office, Meigs EMS, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, juvenile court, prosecutor’s office, Holzer Meigs Security, several local fire departments and police departments, and sponsors, including Mark and Theresa Porter and representatives from Farmers Bank spent time shopping with the children. Also attending were State Rep. Jay Edwards and Commissioner Jimmy Will, Santa and the Grinch.
“We are teaching them (kids) that were are there for them for good things,” said Sheriff Wood, of having the positive interactions with the children.
The community can support next year’s Shop with a Cop by going to Farmers Bank and make a donation to the “Loyalty is Forever” account.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.