CALCUTTA - Judging by the smiles on the faces of the children who participated in this year's Cops and Kids program Saturday afternoon at the Walmart in Calcutta, it is safe to say the program was a success.
Officers from the East Liverpool police department along with their family members helped local kids find just the right gifts to make their Christmas a little more merry. The jubilant youngsters arrived by county bus in three waves, and were excited, to say the least, to get started on their Christmas shopping spree. Although toys are always a popular choice, many children shopped for clothes and shoes as well.
This is the 13th year Cops and Kids, formerly known as Shop with a Cop, has helped area children in need have a happy holiday. The program is organized by Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 29 and Chief of Police John Lane.
There were smiles all around Saturday at the 13th annual “Cops and Kids” event at Walmart in Calcutta. Officers from the East Liverpool Police Department and their family members helped children in need pick out gifts to make their Christmas a happy one. (Photo by Devin Bezeredi)
Chief Lane knows firsthand that times are tough for some children in the community, "We had children in the program this year whose parents have passed away as well as some who had lost their homes to fire." It is for children like these that The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 29 stepped up to lend a helping hand, spending over $12,000 for 66 kids. The money for this year's event was raised through public donations made throughout the year.
For officers of the East Liverpool Police department and FOP Lodge 29, the success of this year's program could best be measured in the smiles of the children they helped this holiday season, and as the kids boarded the buses at the end of the day there were no shortage of smiles. "The program this year went off without a hitch" said Lane. "I'd just like to thank the public, they really stepped up with donations."