Monday evening’s Shop With a Cop at Wal-Mart added to the run of success the event has had for over a decade now. The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 149 created another special night for 60 children who picked out toys at the side of a police officer. There were officers present from every police department in Kosciusko County, but they were all simply heroes to the participating children.
Lodge No. 149 President Chris McKeand explained this year they asked the individual schools to supply them with a list of children whose family they thought could either use the assistance of gifts during the holiday season and kids who they believed could really benefit by sharing a positive experience with a police officer. McKeand stated, “The schools were very helpful. They know the kids so they know who needs the experience and who would be a good fit. That is probably how we will continue to do it from now on. It worked pretty well.”
Besides what they picked from the store, each child received a stocking with Sheriff’s Department pens, Winona Lake Police Department bracelets, coloring books, Hostess cakes, gum balls and candy, or as McKeand put it, “Everything a kid could want and a parent could hate.”
Several officers have been quite busy with such events this holiday season. Warsaw Police Department Lt. Joel Beam lent a hand at the Shopping With Heroes event last week as well as Monday evening’s festivities. If there was a specific item a child needed such as gloves or boots, officers made sure the children got those first before making their way to the toys section for the kids to let loose.