‘Shop with a Sheriff’ needs help for kids

Tue, 12/08/2009 - 4:37pm
By: Letters to the ...

The holidays are fast approaching, and we need your help to brighten the faces of some disadvantaged children right here in Fayette County.

This will be the third year that the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office has coordinated the “Shop with a Sheriff” program.

This valuable program collects donations and takes disadvantaged children shopping for Christmas. We purchase needed supplies and clothing for the children; we also let them pick out some toys for Christmas.

We frequently have to remind these special kids to remember to pick out some items for themselves as they always want to buy gifts for their parents and siblings.

Last Christmas, we met a young boy who had recently lost his mother to a devastating illness. His aunt and uncle were kind enough to take him in and care for him as their own. Unfortunately, times were financially tough before he joined the household and were further strained once he arrived.

They never asked for help. They never complained. They only did what came naturally; they cared for their heartbroken nephew.

We learned of his story while working with the Fayette County elementary school he was attending. Needless to say, this boy was on the top of our list and was one of the children that went shopping with a sheriff’s deputy.

We paired him with one of our most veteran officers and it seemed to be a match made in heaven. After shopping for his much-needed supplies and clothing, they headed to the toy section, where they loaded up the cart with the boy’s desires, including a brand new bicycle.

While in the store, I was approached by the boy’s teacher, who came to see him enjoying that fun day. She had tears in her eyes as she explained that she had never seen him so excited and happy. This boy’s story is but one of 25 children we took shopping that day.

In these tough economic times, the needs of eligible children for our program will undoubtedly outweigh the donations we collect. The number of children we are able to help is based on the amount of donations we receive. In order to help as many children as possible, we need your help.

Please make your check payable to “Shop with a Sheriff” and either mail it or drop it off at the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office at 155 Johnson Avenue, Fayetteville, Ga., 30214. You can also donate online at www.shopwithasheriff.com, where you also can catch a glimpse of the impact of this special program.

For more information, please contact Det. Joshua Shelton at 770-716-4777. I sincerely hope you will donate to this worthy cause.

Wayne Hannah

Sheriff of Fayette County, Ga.

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