LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Today marks the sixth annual “Shop with a Cop” event. Last year, children got to shop at Walmart with deputies from the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office has worked hard to make the Shop with a Cop program happen this year.
“We may not have a whole lot of stuff to be able to give. Due to COVID-19 this year, it has been really rough. Even though COVID did come through and make us have a difficult time this year, we pulled it off,” Deputy Stephanie Davidson said.
According to Davidson, the event organizer Jana Thompson came up with an idea in hopes to make this year special.
“With Santa actually being here. He is going to help us so much today by delivering gifts to the kids and it is going to be awesome,” Davidson said.
As they loaded gifts into vehicles, Davidson says she noticed more necessities such as winter jackets and shoes, rather than “wants” on their lists this year.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic happening, why not start a new tradition? Because covid has really cost a lot of people their jobs, their lives and a lot of people are suffering. Why not spread joy,” Davidson said.
“We had a ton of behind the scenes help from shoppers and little elves running around all day long shopping for these kids. They made lists of their needs and lists of their wants and we tried to do all that.”
Although deputies were not able to shop at Walmart with the kids this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, their message is clear: “It is not about the money or the donations, but more so about the giving. We try to teach the kids that and it is ok even though you may not have a lot to give. We also want to make sure that they know we are not bad people. We may be the police, but we are not bad,” Davidson explained.
Davidson says they were able to pull off the special delivery with Santa this year, by mailing out Santa letters ahead of time and having the deputies stop by to pick them up from each family’s home.