Shop With A Cop helps 100 children in Monroe County

Photo provided Monroe County Sheriff Department deputies shopped with children Wednesday and Thursday for the Shop With A Cop Program. Sheriff Charles Black said every child deserves to have presents on Christmas, so his department is helping make that a reality.

NEW MARTINSVILLE — The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department is trying to make sure children in the area have a great Christmas.

More than 100 children in Monroe County were signed up for Shop With A Cop this year for a two-day event. Elementary school students from the Switzerland of Ohio School District participated by shopping for items of their choice with deputies Wednesday and Thursday at Walmart in New Martinsville.

Children are selected each year to purchase gifts, and each child is given a set amount of money to spend depending on the total donations the department receives. For five years now, the department has hosted the program with the help of donations from the community. This year, more than $21,000 dollars was raised for the program from residents and various organizations.

Sheriff Charles Black said some children in the county do not receive presents on Christmas, so those involved with the program want to make sure that every child gets to have a happy holiday.

“This is really a community effort. I’ve said it before. It’s not just the sheriff’s department,” Black said. “People from the school district helped out and the donations from the community were really appreciated. It’s great that the whole community gets to put a smile on these children’s faces.”

Betty Rousenberg, administrative assistant for the department, went with the deputies to help the children pick out gifts.

“It was really busy, but I think everything went really well,” Rousenberg said. “All of the kids and officers seemed to have a good time, so I am happy about that.”

When the program first started, the department assisted one child, and then helped two children the following year. Because of the large turnout this year, the department had to expand the program to be a two-day event. Black said he wants the program to keep expanding for the years to come to provide holiday spirit for the children of Monroe County.

“It’s great seeing the kids pick out stuff,” Black said. “It is a busy, hectic time. It is always fun though. We do want to keep expanding and help out as many children as we possibly can in the years to come.”

Following shopping, children also went out to eat at Quinet’s Court Restaurant in New Martinsville. Black said his deputies enjoyed eating with the children and getting a chance to talk with him. He said letting the kids be around deputies will help them foster better relationships with the department.