Store With A Cop will go ahead this yr in modified type within the second vacation season through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The necessity to present presents for kids who in any other case could not obtain a Christmas present stays as nice as in earlier years, stated Jean Kilgore, who coordinates the annual program along with her husband, retired Greeneville police detective Stewart Kilgore.
Donations to maintain the Store With A Cop program going are requested, Jean Kilgore stated.
It’s the twenty eighth yr Store With A Cop has been held in Greene County, however this system this yr couldn’t be held in its conventional format.
Store With A Cop sometimes pairs kids with legislation enforcement officers on an all-expenses-paid vacation purchasing journey on the Greeneville Walmart. This yr, dad and mom will store with volunteers after which wrap the items themselves.
Legislation enforcement officers and college steerage counselors will probably be among the many members, and extra volunteers are sought, Kilgore stated Monday.
“We’re going to must do it otherwise this yr. We’ve at all times taken the children purchasing, however everyone is hesitant about Covid and the whole lot, so we’re not going to have the ability to story the children in plenty like earlier than,” she stated. “We’re going to take dad and mom of the (kids) purchasing. We’ll give them wrapping paper they usually can wrap the items once they get them dwelling.”
In 2020, items had been bought and wrapped by volunteers after which delivered to metropolis and county faculties by faculty useful resource officers from the Greeneville Police Division and Greene County Sheriff’s Division.
This yr, letters had been despatched to all Greeneville and Greene County faculties and program coordinators obtained lists of the neediest kids.
“I’m contacting dad and mom and I’m attempting to arrange dates for them to buy,” Kilgore stated. “I’ve most likely bought in contact with about three-quarters of them.”
From what Kilgore has seen, “The necessity is even larger this yr,” she stated.
“I feel there may be simply extra of a necessity normally. Lots of people, they might be working, however they barely make ends meet they usually can’t afford items,” Kilgore stated.
As much as 500 youths have benefitted from previous Store With A Cop occasions in Greene County. Final yr, program organizers came upon about kids who didn’t obtain items at Christmastime from academics after faculty resumed in January and this system was in a position to present presents, Kilgore stated.
Legislation enforcement officers and different volunteers like Kilgore miss not seeing kids’s faces brighten as they take them purchasing on the primary Saturday in December, the date the occasion is generally held.
“It simply breaks my coronary heart. This would be the second Christmas with out purchasing however there are various dad and mom who’re hesitant to do this, and I perceive,” Kilgore stated. “We’ll simply take them every time the volunteers and oldsters can go.”
Kilgore is hoping to listen to again from extra enterprise sponsors. Volunteers will start purchasing with dad and mom on the finish of November.
“Now we have much less cash as a result of we haven’t been in a position to have fundraisers this yr. Now we have despatched out letters to the standard companies that donate, however we haven’t had the identical response this yr,” Kilgore stated.
Those that wish to donate to this system can drop off checks on the Greeneville Police Division. Alternately, checks could be made out to Store With A Cop, or the Greene County Legislation Enforcement Affiliation (GCLEA), and mailed to: Stewart Kilgore, 1560 Invoice Jones Highway, Afton, TN, 37616.
A thanks observe and receipt will probably be despatched to all donors.
Mother and father and people desirous to volunteer can contact Jean Kilgore at 423-639-3310.