Cops, Kids Share Special Day
The seventh annual Giles County Fraternal Order of Police (F.O.P.) Lodge 94 “Cops and Kids” event brought Christmas cheer to 25 deserving boys and girls and many emergency response personnel, county officials and volunteers through a day of shopping, wrapping, eating and many fun-filled surprises. Trea Dunnavant / Pulaski Citizen
by Trea Dunnavant
While Santa has been making his naughty and nice list all year long, the Giles County Fraternal Order of Police (F.O.P.) Lodge 94 made its own list of 25 deserving children to host Dec. 9 for the seventh annual “Cops and Kids” day of shopping, playing, eating and many fun-filled surprises.
The students, sporting new T-shirts covered in Christmas red, jolly green and snow white, were partnered off with several F.O.P. volunteers — deputies, troopers, police, game wardens, other active and retired law enforcement officers and community leaders.
Each Wal-Mart shopping buggy was filled to the tip-top with everything from the latest baby dolls, the best strollers from babystroller reviews and Marvel Avengers’ action figures to clothing of all sizes and the newest and most stylish cowgirl boots.
Some students were over zealous with shopping and had to have a quick lesson in budgeting that would make Santa and Dave Ramsey proud.
While some browsed the shelves from top to bottom for the toy their heart was set on, other students examined every item carefully searching for precisely the perfect gifts for family and friends.
No matter the item, big or small, all the boys, girls, cops and volunteers were full of merry laughter and holiday fun throughout the Christmas shopping excursion.
In fact, when the line backed up at the check out counter and the computer system took a small winter’s nap, a few antsy children, anxious as if it were Christmas Eve, provided all the volunteers and Wal-Mart employees countless moments of entertainment fueled by sugary Christmas cookies and fruit juice.
Like Santa’s sleigh led by Rudolph’s light, a caravan of emergency vehicles with lights all aglow dashed across the city to Southside Elementary School.
After each child scarfed down hamburgers with all the trimmings, chips, sodas, cookies and donuts, provided by community businesses and citizens, the kids enjoyed time playing games with high school and college students from around the county.
While they burned off their sugar-fueled energy in the gym, the F.O.P. members and community volunteers enjoyed a slightly different kind of Christmas fun — gift wrapping.
Whether buried up to their elbows in ribbons and bows or wrapped up in Christmas paper and tape, each volunteer was filled with smiles and Christmas cheer as they wrapped each item the students selected.
After all the gifts were wrapped and placed into bags on the bus, they all hurried back to the Sheriff’s Department without any fuss. For who would be there waiting on them? Why, St. Nicholas himself with a toy and a grin.
As Santa unloaded the last gift from his sack, volunteer’s filled parents’ vehicles until they were packed, with presents in bags, food for a meal and last but not least — a new bike to ride — with or without training wheels.
And as each child rode away far out of sight, the volunteers joyfully yelled, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”
“Today was an awesome day for not only law enforcement in the community, but also the kids here,” F.O.P. President Scott Nations said. “Without everybody coming together, this never would have worked. It’s like having a puzzle. Every piece fits to make a perfect picture. I’m just glad to be a part of it, and I want to thank from the bottom of my heart everyone who contributed to this.
“I also want folks to know — since the F.O.P. is the organization the Radio Auction proceeds will benefit this coming January — this is the biggest event we do each year. This is what your donations will help make possible. And as long as I am president, money donated will be used wisely to give back to the kids in our community through Cops and Kids.”
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