Sergeants Ryan McCann of the Cadiz Police Department and Eric Wilson of the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office are spearheading county fund-raising efforts for the upcoming Shop With A Cop activity in December. About 60 Harrison County children were assisted last year at the Steubenville Wal-Mart and participants are being sought this time. Officials are also looking for donations to defray costs for kids’ purchases of warm winter clothes, non-violent toys and a turkey or ham for the holiday dinner.

Financial contributions will be accepted until the night of the event, Dec. 11. Officials said any amount is accepted but sponsorships are also available. Santa’s Helpers may contribute $125 for one child; Special Friends, $250 for two kids; Bronze sponsors, $375 for three; Silver, $500 for four; Gold, $1,000 for eight; and platinum, $1,250 for 10 children.

McCann said financial support was needed and he encouraged donors to help as soon as possible.

“The more money we get sooner, the more we can help the kids that night,” he said. “It’s local. This money all goes to Shop With A Cop. There are no fees and it all goes to the kids.”

Both he and Wilson noted the pride they felt volunteering and helping the youngsters, and they added that the time with the kids show that cops as positive role models.

“A lot of it is seeing the expression on their faces and knowing they are getting clothes and non-violent toys,” McCann added. “It’s important, as a parent, when you take someone else’s kids Christmas shopping. We spend a lot of our job dealing with the negative stuff, but once a year we deal with something really positive.”

“It does make you feel good inside,” Wilson noted. “We’re both fathers and we work with kids. They can also pick out a ham or turkey and have a decent meal. Christmas can be seen in a materialistic way, but when you talk about the charitable side, you are helping your fellow man. It puts you in the Christmas spirit. To me, Christmas is about giving. You give to your family and your community.”

Checks may be made directly to FOP No. 97 with “For Deposit Only” written on the back. Donors will receive an official receipt and decal for their sponsorship. Donations may be given to either Sgt. McCann or Wilson or mailed to P.O. Box 2593, Wintersville, Ohio, 43953.

NH Photo/AMY GAREIS

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