AMERICUS — In 2016, when the Americus Police Department teamed with Sumter County DEFACS and the Southwest Georgia Children’s Alliance to provide Christmas gifts for local children, 10 children were selected to participate in the local Shop With a Cop day out.
The children, most of whom were in foster care and were selected based on need, enjoyed a dinner out, then paired up with a volunteer police officer for a shopping trip to Walmart, where each received a $100 gift card.
In the second year of the Shop With a Cop initiative, the number of kids doubled to 20, and last year that number increased to 30.
This December officials in the successful program plan to hold the number at 30, but they want to increase the amount of money each kid is given. Over the three years of the program, the children generally buy gifts for family members, not themselves.
To meet its goal of providing more for each child to spend, APD is asking for public help in sponsoring children in the Shop With a Cop program.
Tax deductible donations are being sought by the Americus Police Benevolence Fund, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Donations may be dropped off at the front desk of the police department.
For any questions about the program, call Chief Mark Scott at (229) 924-3677, extension 329.