FPPD working with community to make holidays memorable for kids

Thirty-three local children will join Fort Pierce police officers tonight for the first round of the Police Department’s annual Shop-With-A-Cop program, which strives to make sure every child in the city enjoys a special holiday memory. 

The children will arrive by bus at 6 p.m. at Walmart, 5100 Okeechobee Road. They will be met by an enthusiastic squad of Fort Pierce police officers who are eager to help the kids find some great presents.

Each child will be provided with a $100 gift card to purchase any items they want. The children will be encouraged to buy at least one thing special for themselves, but often they choose to spend the money on gifts and necessities for their families.

For tonight’s round of Shop-With-A-Cop, the participating kids were chosen by the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County, which gathered funding for the shopping spree from private donations. FPPD greatly appreciates the efforts of the Boys & Girls Clubs as well as the donations made by individuals and private companies.

When the shopping is done, the officers and kids will gather at the Subway inside Walmart for some drinks and cookies.

FPPD will hold a second round of Shop-With-A-Cop on Wednesday, Dec. 20, also at Walmart. The children who will participate that evening were referred by officers based on situations they observed throughout the year. Funding for that evening also is provided by Walmart and by EMCI, which provides radio equipment for the police department.

Then on Thursday, Dec. 21, the FPPD Santa Cop event will take place at the main police station. On that day, another group of children who were referred by officers will be invited to the police station to pick up gifts donated during last Sunday’s motorcycle toy run at the Police Athletic League. The kids and their families also will be given turkeys and food for Christmas dinner, donated by the Dowdy Foundation.

The Fort Pierce Police Department appreciates all the people, organizations and private firms that are assisting us this year to make the holidays better for our local families in need. Those efforts are helping officers connect with young people, and will help encourage them to make positive choices in their lives.