It's a duty that's not listed in a law enforcer's job description-shopping-but 20 members of the Fraternal Order of Police Gold Star Lodge 188 were out taking to the aisles Saturday at Kmart in Marietta.
"We've looked forward to this since last year. When we come in here and see the young kids come in they get these big smiles on their face, they have their lists and stuff like that it makes everything that we do in our auction really it just kind of ends the season for us," said Sgt. Craig Brockmeier, Washington County Sheriff's Office.
Nine auctions raised money from community donated items to support this function.
The proceeds gave 25 area children the opportunity to shop with a cop and spend $250 during this spree. In addition, members will provide approximately 40 more kids from children's services foster care program with gift cards.
"Every time these kids come walking in the door you see their eyes light up. They love sitting in the carts or pushing the carts and talking to us. We love to get to know them," said Sgt. Pat Gherke, President, FOP Gold Star Lodge 188.
It just so happened that all the officers there work for the Washington County Sheriff's office even though the FOP is made up of many individuals from other law enforcement departments.
"It's comprised of the Washington County Sheriff's office, Washington County jail, members of the Adult Parole Authority and the State Highway Patrol," said Gherke.
Some members were there with their spouses who joined in helping these children pick out clothes, shoes,coats, and last but not least, toys for the holidays.
"The first thing I told them was that you got to ask a lot of questions because they got to get to know the officers that are with them and we want to get to know them," said Gherke.
The kids were thankful for the opportunity. One 7-grader, Amanda Patterson, said "I'd like to thank the cops for doing it for us."
If you'd like to give a donation to the fund for Shop With A Cop, the money carries over from year to year. You can contact an FOP member in person or mail a donation to P.O. Box 2133, Marietta, OH 45750.
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