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Twenty-five children who might have received nothing for Christmas instead took home a shopping cart full of items, thanks to the second annual Shop With a Cop program Saturday morning.
The program, launched last year by the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, doubled the number of children it provided toys for, according to Sheriff Troy Young.
“We ended up buying toys for 25 children,” Young said. “Last year we had 12.”
Working with the Lawrenceburg Police Department, Young said the program’s goal of $5,000 this year was exceeded thanks to a last-second anonymous donation of $1,500.
“We were tickled to death,” Young said. “Last year was good, but this was even better.”
Each of the 25 children was paired with a city officer or deputy. They began around 9 a.m. with a trip to the Shoe Barn, which opened an hour early to accommodate them.
“We had the run of the place,” said Young, adding that the store gave each child a 30 percent discount.
Then it was off to Walmart, which donated $2,000 to the effort.
Young said each child was allowed to spend $200.
“They had a great time, and some spent some of theirs on their siblings.”
After the shopping spree, each child was taken to First Christian Church where they ate a Happy Meal donated by McDonald’s.
“They were the most appreciative, well-deserving bunch of kids you could ask for,” Young said.
Young said his office worked with the school system’s family resource centers to find children in need.
“Barbara Basham really helped,” said Young. “She goes through and helps find the children, plus if we know anyone who’s been through a real traumatic event, we can suggest a child to be selected.”
Young said there’s no doubt the program will be held again next year.
“We’ve already got a great start on it,” he said.
E-mail Ben Carlson at email@example.com.