MEIGS COUNTY — It may not have been the traditional “Shop with a Cop” event, but first responders, business owners and community members made sure local youth received gifts in time for Christmas.
In a typical year, approximately 100 kids from around Meigs County would have gathered for breakfast at the Meigs County Council on Aging before loading on to buses to be part of a first responder parade to Wal-Mart where they would have shopped for Christmas gifts along with those first responders.
But, as has been the case for so many things in 2020, plans had to change.
In the days leading up to the scheduled event, organizers received Christmas lists from 92 children who were to be part of the program this year. Lori Miller of Loyalty is Forever and Theresa Porter of Mark Porter Auto Group, along with others, took those shopping lists and purchased gifts for all of the children. The staff at Mark Porter and Farmers Bank in Tuppers Plains helped with preparing the gifts for delivery.
On Monday morning, cruisers, trucks, and a pair of vans provided by Porter were loaded up with the gifts, cookies made for each child by the Meigs County Council on Aging’s Close to Home Catering, McDonald’s gift cards and treat bags for delivery. In small groups, the first responders took the gifts to the children at their homes.
Porter and Miller explained that while the kids may not have been able to shop with the first responders, they wanted to be able to do right by the children for Christmas, giving them as much of the experience as possible.
Miller said that many changes had been made in recent days and weeks to provide the program while taking safety precautions due to COVID-19, resulting in Monday’s deliveries.
Taking part in delivering gifts to the children were the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office, Syracuse Volunteer Fire Department, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Meigs County Prosecutor’s Office, Holzer Meigs Security, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Officer Chris Gilkey and Loyalty is Forever representatives.
More than $16,000 was raised for the 2020 Shop with a Cop event through the efforts of the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office, Pomeroy Police Department, Loyalty is Forever and many local businesses and individuals.
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Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.