Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

December 18, 2012

Kids get to Shop with a Cop

VALDOSTA — While last Friday’s school shooting has prompted parents around the country to hold their children tighter this holiday season, 25 Lowndes County families spent Monday night in the care of cops during the Valdosta Police Department’s Eighth Annual Shop with a Cop program at the Walmart Supercenter on Inner Perimeter Road.

There were 25 kids and their families paired with 25 cops. The teams of cops and families were tasked with turning 25 cards into gifts for Dec. 25. Valdosta Police Officer Vernotis Williams, event organizer, said the Shop with a Cop program aims to provide Christmas gifts where finances and circumstances wouldn’t normally allow, and its therapeutic for the officers involved, too.

“We look as if we wear tough skin, but we’re people, too, and we deal with tough issues in our own lives,” said Williams. “Despite all of the bad things I’ve had to go through, that child’s smile makes it go away.”

Each child was given a card worth $199.98, said Williams, thanks to large contributions from law-enforcement agencies and the efforts of the Street Sweepers Car Club of Valdosta. Wally Moore said that it was the second year his club has participated in the event.

“We’re a non-profit organization and we love kids,” said Moore. “We put on car shows and all of the proceeds go to charity. We raised over $1,000 for

 Shop with a Cop during our Make Christmas Happen car show.”

Not all of the gift cards were dispensed during the pre-shopping spree meet-up at the Valdosta’s police headquarters, said Williams, who said a spare card was given to the first non-participating child that approached him to say hello during the event. After walking by a few pairs of adverted eyes, one child ran Williams down.

“I told her that she had just won $200 and she and her mom were floored,” said Williams. “From that moment to the point they checked out, that little girl has not dropped her smile. She has picked up everything Barbie that you can imagine.”

Participating agencies included the Valdosta Police Department, Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, Valdosta State University Police Department, Echols County’s Sheriff’s Office, Lanier County Sheriff’s Office, Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia Department of Public Safety.

After the shopping spree ended, the group headed to the break room for pizza and punch catered by the Five Points Pizza Hut. Yashica Jackson and her daughter, Jamayah Huntley, raved about Detective Brad Ingram as the group settled in at a table after the frenzy.

“The community should be grateful to have such wonderful officers,” said Jackson. “I enjoyed getting to know the officers here. Officer Ingram made us feel comfortable. I appreciate his time, because I know all of the officers here have families of their own.”

Detective Ingram has seen some grisly crime scenes in his life, but his time with little Jamayah may have been one of the biggest shockers he’s seen in a while. Ingram said Jamayah used part of her gift card funds to purchase a thoughtful gift for her mother.

“I heard several kids say, ‘this is my police officer,’” said Williams. “Those new relationships sum up what this program is all about. And I’m so impressed with the businesses and citizens of Valdosta who chose to give to kids who wouldn’t have otherwise had such a nice Christmas. This program would fail if it wasn’t for this community’s support.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 140724-LAT1.jpg Little Actors Theatre ready for summer show

    Since 2004, the Little Actors Theatre has provided a place for children ages 6 to 19 to express themselves through acting.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072414-MichelleNunn003.jpeg Michelle Nunn visits Valdosta

    The day after learning that her Republican challenger would be David Perdue, Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn kicked off her Common Sense and Collaboration Tour Wednesday by meeting with business owners in Atlanta, Athens and Macon and continued her tour Thursday morning by visiting the David S. Waller Unit facility of the Boys and Girls Club of Valdosta.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • lunch.jpg Valdosta One Lunch feeds summer-hungry kids

    Hunger is a concept that many people associate with third-world countries, not their hometown. However, in Valdosta, hunger is real. To combat this hunger, a group of Valdostans have created Valdosta One Lunch, a program that distributes bagged meals to children in need.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • thumbs up.jpeg Moody squadron commander reaches milestone

    The 75th Fighter Squadron commander hit a career milestone July 17, by surpassing 3,000 flight hours in an A-10C Thunderbolt II.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • water.jpg New equipment expected to deal with Lowndes water violations

    The Lowndes County Commission’s recent approval of $1.6 million for water-treatment equipment is expected to counter a past series of water-quality violations within the county.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 142314-Goodwill.jpg Goodwill hosts the Mexican Consulate

    Mexican citizens living in South Georgia have spent this week lining up at the Valdosta Goodwill to meet with the Mexican Consulate to obtain Mexican government issued identification.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140723-Tree001.jpg Chamber plants 100th centennial tree

    Founded in September 1912, the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest chambers in the state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140723 - Operation M#10E3C7.JPG Veterans First

    With Moody Air Force Base expecting to lose 300 to 400 personnel due to government cutbacks, area organizations are working with military personnel about to enter the civilian work force.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lowndes increases millage rate

    For the first time since 1999, the Lowndes County Commission voted Wednesday to increase the millage rate.

    July 24, 2014

  • dui memorial 1.jpg Memorial honors woman killed in DUI case

    More than a week after the man responsible for her death was sentenced to five years in jail, a memorial sign has been placed at the site where Sheila Foster-Lamb was hit and killed by an impaired driver while she was on her way to work.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

Top News
Poll

School starts again in about two weeks. What do you think?

It's still summer. School starts too soon.
Seems like the right time to return.
Abolish summer recess. Make school year-round.
     View Results