Help support Jones County’s ‘Shop with a Cop’

Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The national program “Shop with a Cop” is coming to Jones County.

     Thanks to the efforts of the Jones County Family Council and Sherri Hunt, member of the non-profit, middle school children in Jones County will have the opportunity to shop for their loved ones for Christmas with the guidance of a friendly law enforcement officer.

     On Monday, Dec. 11 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., fifth through eighth-graders will meet with various law enforcement agents at Wal-Mart in Anamosa. The goal, said Hunt, is to allow 25 kids to spend $100 each.

     “This program will help give the kids the gift of giving,” she said. “They’ll be shopping for their immediate family members, with the officers giving them guidance on budgeting.” Hunt added the program helps youth know the meaning of giving back to others.

     The students are being selected with the help of school nurses and guidance counselors from the Monticello, Anamosa and Olin school districts.

     “They’re helping us identify the kids because they know them better than anyone else,” Hunt said. “It’s a way to connect high-risk kids with law enforcement.” Hunt added it’s a way to help youth build a buddy relationship.

     Each middle schooler will be assigned to an officer with a list of gift items to shop for. Hunt said Shop with a Cop also gives the youth an opportunity to see local law enforcement in a positive light.

     “Often these officers are depicted in negative situations and encounters,” she said. “These officers want to give back to their communities in a positive manner. They obviously care about their communities.”

     Those agencies assisting in the Shop with a Cop program include:

     • Monticello Police Department

     • Anamosa Police Department

     • Jones County Sheriff’s Department

     • Anamosa State Penitentiary

     • Iowa State Patrol

     • Department of Human Services

     Hunt said the number of kids served weighs heavily upon how much money they can raise. While the Family Council has given some funds toward the program, they are seeking donations. The Family Council is a non-profit 501(c)3, making any donations tax deductible. Hunt is also applying for grants to assist.

     “The holidays are a tough time as it is,” said Hunt. She said this program helps give families a brighter Christmas, while instilling some positively as well.

     Parents/guardians/caregivers will be asked to drop their kids off at Wal-Mart around 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 11. From there, the kids and cops will have the chance to spend some time shopping together. Volunteers will also be on hand at Wal-Mart to gift-wrap everything for the kids and treat them to pizza and refreshments before the evening is over. They can also spend time visiting with the various law enforcement officers as well.

     In order to reach their goal of 25 kids at $100 each, the Family Council is taking donations. You can contact Hunt at 319-551-3402 or Donations can also be mailed to Jones County Family Council, 24594 110th St., Anamosa, IA 52205.


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