HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (12/6/11)—Since the late 80’s to early 90’s, members of Madisonville’s Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 19 have organized an annual, charity-minded program called “Shop With a Cop” that helps to provide new clothing for underprivileged Hopkins County youths.
Organized by immediate past FOP Lodge 19 President Jerry Robards, and directly assisted by members of the Hopkins County Sheriff’s Department, the Madisonville Police Department, and the Citizen’s Academy, the 2011 “Shop With a Cop” program will give children a chance to interact with local enforcement while also picking up some new clothes.
As current FOP Lodge 19 President Tim Davis explains, the 2011 program will provide over $100 in shopping money to approximately 100 kids from Hopkins County. In total, Davis estimates that the FOP invests approximately $15,000 in the program every year.
In addition to picking out new outfits for the season, the children involved with the program will also be treated to a fresh breakfast from McDonald’s in Wal-Mart and a movie at Madisonville’s Capitol 8 Theatre after the shopping is done.
The event will last all the way from 7am until the end of the film on Saturday, December 10th. All shopping will be done between 7:30am and 9am at Madisonville’s Wal-Mart location.
What makes the program unique, however, is that local law enforcement officials will remain with the young participants throughout much of the day in order to help them with the shopping and movie-watching process.
“It’s really humbling to be involved with the program. To see the children and the smiles on their faces when it’s over is really amazing. In years past, we’ve had children come up to us and just say ‘Thank you.’ It’s not only good for our hearts, but it’s good for the community,” says Davis.
Though a record-breaking number of children were suggested for the program this year Davis explains that the FOP still tries to help those who don’t get selected for the “Shop With a Cop” program.
“We’ve had more names submitted this year than ever before. Whereas we got around 250 suggestions, around 100 will be able to participate. Yet, if we can’t take care of a child through our program, we try and find another organization that can help them out,” says Davis.
“We at the FOP just really want to thank the community for all their support each year,” states Davis. “They make this program possible, and, as a result, the program goes beyond just the FOP and becomes a full-fledged community event. We just can’t say how much we appreciate what the community does for us each year in helping us to have this program.”
Though the FOP’s “Shop With a Cop” program will take place this upcoming weekend, Davis notes that the organization collects additional donations all the way until the end of December. In most cases, the additional funds are used in immediate, family emergency type situations after the actual event/program has ended.
If you would like to donate or would like to find out more, simply contact FOP Lodge 19 President Tim Davis by phone at (270) 836-9131.
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