Brownwood, Grand Prairie, Waxahachie, and coming soon near you!

Shop with a Cop

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What is Shop with a Cop?

Shop with a Cop is an event during the Christmas season that fosters positive relationships between police officers, churches,   foster youth, children, and families in under-resourced communities. CPS identifies families in need, and at the event, the families are teamed up with a police officer and church volunteer to “Christmas Shop” both for the child and anyone they want to purchase items for, up to a pre-designated amount. After shopping, the children, officers, and volunteers eat together and wrap gifts they bought for others. Occasionally Santa even makes an appearance at Shop with a Cop!

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The Impact

The Shop with a Cop program reaches out to members of the community who may otherwise hesitate to engage with police officers regularly. It allows children to become familiar with the police and feel comfortable in their presence. It teaches the children that police officers have unique interests, goals, and families of their own, and they are community helpers. For some, the only knowledge they have of police is based on negative experiences (either of their own, someone they know, or something they’ve seen on TV).  As a result, children can develop fond memories of the officers and develop trust with law enforcement. 

By participating in the program, children are afforded positive experiences with police officers, and officers are afforded positive experiences with families from their beats.In addition, officers bond with the children and develop personalized perspectives on policing in that local community. The program also helps members of the local community, who may need assistance from law enforcement at different times of the year, see officers in a positive light.

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How to Get Involved

Churches can co-sponsor a Shop with a Cop event near them by providing volunteers and funding for the gift cards the children will use to purchase their items. These gift cards are typically for $100 each, and each location usually serves 20-30 children. Often churches will commit to a certain amount of gift cards and a number of volunteers. Volunteering is a prime opportunity to create lasting relationships with the families and offer wrap-around support from the church for the family.

 

Businesses can also co-sponsor a Shop with a Cop event near them by providing funding for the gift cards, meal preparations, snacks, drinks, decor, and gift wrap supplies. Local businesses may also offer goodie bags or other small gifts for the children that take home as part of their participation in the event.

 

Child welfare, school, and Juvenile Justice employees can help identify children who would benefit from the program. In addition, children often enjoy seeing their caseworkers, teachers, etc., at these events because it reminds them of all of those seeking success for their good. 

 

Individuals can be involved by offering a donation of any amount or volunteering at a local event. Volunteers are needed for setting up/tear down, registration, food set up, etc. 

 

Contact info@hflm.org to get involved!