Communication Builds Our Community

44 Children Get to Shop with a Cop

It was fun, exciting and filled with anticipation! Everyone loves the sound of children laughing while they run around, eyes wide open as their Christmas dreams come true. Well, it happened and we were there. On Dec. 10, 44 children went Christmas shopping during the Lake Wales Police Officers Association's annual Shop with a Cop event at the Lake Wales Wal-Mart.

The gathering began at 6 p.m. where parents signed their children in, snacks were served and families were assigned to their officer to take them shopping. Once the assignments were complete, the excitement of shopping began. Children began selecting toys, electronics, clothing, books, art supplies and other items they wanted. Some of the children knew exactly what they wanted while others took their time being very particular about the treasures they selected. Something special we see every year was a few of the children selecting items for people other than themselves, such as their parents and siblings.

The Shop with a Cop event has created special memories for everyone involved and we are hopeful this experience between officers and children will build on our efforts to create trusting relationships that will last a lifetime.

This event is only possible due to the generosity and teamwork of many people and businesses throughout our community. Those who sponsored the 2019 Lake Wales Police Officers Association Shop with a Cop event are: Wal-Mart, Gretchen Jahna, Dyer Kia, Jahna Foundation Inc, The Ouellette Law Firm, Oak Harbor Title Services LLC, Lake Wales Kiwanis Foundation, Badcock Home Furniture, Mayer Jewelers, Marion Nelson Funeral Home, Emil and Marilyn Jahna and other anonymous donors.

"Year after year it is such a blessing to be a part of this event! Knowing there are so many people in our area who are willing to donate their finances, time and effort to make Christmas dreams come true for these children is amazing. It makes it difficult to put into words the experience the children get to have. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the event in any way! Your love and thoughtfulness for these children made this Christmas a very special one." From the men and women of the Lake Wales Police Department, "Merry Christmas!"


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