COVINGTON, Ga. — Christmas arrived early for 26 kids with the help of the Covington Police Department.
The CPD held its 46th annual Shop with a Cop on Thursday afternoon, Dec. 5, at the Walmart on Industrial Boulevard. The children — selected by the Newton County Division of Family and Children’s Services — were paired with one or more officers from the CPD or Oxford Police Department, given a $150 gift card and set free to adventure down the aisles.
Every child seemed to have made the nice list this year as shopping carts were filled to the brim with Lego sets, Barbie dolls and so much more. Even Santa Claus made a special trip from the North Pole to greet the children as they wandered Walmart searching for the perfect toy!
CPD Capt. Ken Malcom said the officers were "genuinely happy" to help the children have a present-filled Christmas.
"It's always sweet when they get to the register because sometimes the officers' and the kids' eyes get a little bigger," he said. "They don't keep up with the money that's allocated, and they go over. You'll see every one of these officers open up their billfolds. We have a wonderful group of people who work in this organization."
The annual Shop with a Cop would not be possible without the help of the Fuzz Run, an annual 5k run hosted by the Covington Police Who Care, according to Malcom.
"We're so blessed to be able to do this with the Police Who Care Fund. We appreciate all the sponsors who sponsor the Fuzz Run and all the runners who run in the Fuzz Run. It allows us to do this," he said. "This is wonderful, especially right now. This is good therapy for us. We've had such a hard week, and this is an opportunity to get out, catch a breath and do something for this community."
August Ashley, customer service manager at Walmart, had a smile on her face as she watched the children enjoy every minute of this special event.
"It's glorious to see the smile on the kid's face," she said. "Just to let them know cops are not all bad. There's some good ones in the world. This is to show them that they can look up to them, go to them and talk to them. It's nice to see smiles on their faces."
It goes without asking Santa: not only did the children make the nice list this year but so did all the officers, who helped make this holiday a little more merrier.