Donations sought for third annual ‘Shop with a Cop’


DuTrac Community Credit Union in Monticello donated $500 to the Jones County Family Council for the Shop with a Cop program. Donations are still being collected to help Jones County middle schoolers purchase presents for their family for the holiday season. From left are Heather Weers, Family Council coordinator; Dave Postel, DuTrac branch manager; and Sherri Hunt, Family Council member. (Photo by Kim Brooks)
By: 
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

The Jones County Family Council is making preparations for the Third Annual Shop with a Cop program. 

On Monday, Dec. 9, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., middle school children throughout Jones County will have the opportunity to scour the aisles of Wal-Mart in Anamosa to shop for the holidays alongside a friendly law enforcement officer. The children will be shopping for gifts for their family members and loved ones. 

With the goal of serving 50 kids last year, Sherri Hunt, a member of the Family Council, said they were actually able to have 60 children participate in the 2018 program. Each child received a $100 gift card to spend, all of which was supported through donations and grants. Hunt is hoping to again hit that 60-child participation mark. 

“I think the event represents the true spirit of the holiday season by teaching our children to give and be kind. And it’s the most fun, chaos anyone can pack into a short time with such wonderful law enforcement officers and volunteers. It’s a true community effort,” she said. 

Hunt also added that local law enforcement agencies, all Jones County middle schools, Wal-Mart, and the Anamosa State Penitentiary are all on board to participate again this year. “Everyone has such a great time with this event and are eager to again participate and help out where needed,” Hunt said. 

She shared that the penitentiary graciously holds its own internal fundraiser, and last year was able to raise over $3,000. Combined with grants from DuTrac and Wal-Mart, as well as various private donations, over $6,000 was raised to support the 60 participating children in 2018. 

Each child is assigned a law enforcement officer to shop alongside and after shopping, children are treated to pizza and conversation with their officer, all while volunteers wrap everything the kids purchased. 

The Jones County Family Council is all about preventing child abuse and protecting children. By partnering with several law enforcement agencies, Hunt said they want these middle schoolers to know that these officials are good people and someone they can turn to in time of need. “Building that relationship is important,” she said. 

Shop with a Cop serves fifth through eighth graders in the Anamosa, Monticello, Midland, and Olin School Districts. Hunt works closely with school counselors to help identify students. 

“It’s all about sharing the joy,” Hunt said. “We want the kids to feel important and experience the joy of giving so maybe someday they’ll be inspired to give back in their community.” 

Hunt is still seeking donations to help fulfill their goal of serving 60 youth for the event this year. Donations can be dropped at both the Anamosa and Monticello Police Departments or mailed to the Jones County Family Council, P.O. Box 42, Anamosa, IA 52205. You can also contact the Family Council at jonescountycppc@gmail. com or Hunt at sherri. hunt@co.jones.ia.us for more information. 

“It’s really a fun program to oversee. People get excited about it and it’s a great avenue of giving,” Hunt said. 

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