Shop with a Cop/Fireman check

Walmart presents a check for $2,500 to Shop with a Cop/Fireman. From left: Shawn McCutchins, Randy Snyder, Keitha Fowler, Amy Hall, Sgt. Ryan Wilson, Steve Crow, Police Chief Bengie Clift and Assistant Chief Jason Steadman.

LaFayette Walmart presented the Police & Fire Department with $2,500 for its Shop with a Cop/Fireman program on Oct. 23.

Police Sgt. Ryan Wilson, resource officer at LaFayette High School, was on hand to accept the check. The money was donated through a community grant.

The Shop with a Cop/Fireman program helps needy children at Christmas. Police officers and firefighters take the children on a shopping spree at LaFayette Walmart to fill out their Christmas wish list.

The program also helps build friendships with police officers and firefighters, Wilson said.

The program is in its 15th year and was started by the late Police Chief Charles Ronald “Dino” Richardson.

“I’ve had kids come up to me several years later and say, ‘Hey you shopped with me,’” Wilson said.

Shop with a Cop/Fireman begins with a parade through the city to Walmart to eat snacks and make crafts.

Each child is then paired with a police officer or firefighter to walk around Walmart and shop for toys and clothes to their liking.

“I’m still a kid at heart. I love doing this and seeing the joy on the kid’s faces,” Wilson said.

Shop with a Cop/Fireman will take place at the LaFayette Walmart on Dec. 14.

Applications will be available at the LaFayette Police Department or online at mycityoflafayettega.org. Click on the Community tab, then the Forms tab, then Applications. The deadline is Nov. 22 at 5 p.m.

Mary Catherine O’Bryant is a reporter for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and the Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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