Shop With A Cop
About the Program
This program was established to build positive relationships between police officers and the children of the community. It is a yearly event where members of different law enforcement agencies come together and donate their time to give the children of our community a Christmas to remember.
The event is geared towards families who may be facing financial difficulties. It is through donations and fundraising events held throughout the year that we are able to provide the children with gift cards to purchase presents for themselves or a family member.
Visualizing the Program
Imagine 2 buses filled with children being escorted by many police cars, with lights and sirens traveling down U.S. Highway 1 towards Walmart. Each officer is assigned a child (ages 5 to 17) and given a gift card to go on a shopping spree. Do the children spend all of the money on themselves? No, these children selflessly spend most of their time and money searching for the perfect gift for a family member or friend.
The officers that are shopping with them are filled with joy because they see the excitement on each child’s face. The event is not just rewarding to the child who was selected to participate, but extremely rewarding to the law enforcement personnel involved in making it happen. After the main event, Walmart provides a meal for each child to eat before being released to a parent/guardian.
Santa Claus also make an appearance because he loves to see the smiling faces on each child participating.
Applications are available on the Indian River County virtual backpack as the event approaches. Applications will also become available on this website once that time is near. The schools also provide names of children they know are in need and who may not be aware of the program.
The qualifications considered are:
- Have not participated before
- Meet the age requirement (5 to 17)
- Live in Indian River County
- Are in need of assistance
Each application is reviewed and carefully considered for approval. It is very difficult for the officers reviewing the applications because they want to include everyone. Unfortunately, not all of the children are able to participate due to the overwhelming number of applicants.
Please help support this great cause. There are ways to be involved throughout the year. For additional information on how to participate or what you can do to help, please contact the COPE Unit with the Sebastian Police Department at 772-589-5233, ext. 8508 or the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office at 772-978-6248. Thank you in advance for our support!