Cops for Kids is Lewisburg tradition

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Lewisburg Police Department will be taking 61 local children Christmas shopping this Saturday, Dec. 13.

Lt. Rebekah Mitchell is in charge of the Cops for Kids program and Police Chief

Chuck Forbis says she has been working hard to make sure the day is a success.

Donations have been solicited throughout the year, and the police have been able to expand the program to 61 children, a big increase over last year's 45.

"We stepped up to the plate to help as many as we can this year," said Mitchell.

This will be her sixth Christmas with the LPD, and Mitchell has helped with Cops for Kids every year, and been in charge for the last three or four. She doesn't know what year the program started, but it's definitely become a tradition.

"We are serving our community, and it's a great way to get out and interact with the children," Mitchell said.

The police work with the councilors at the three Lewisburg elementary schools to select kids who wouldn't have much of a Christmas without help.

"We don't turn down siblings that are not school age," said Mitchell, which explains the odd number of children chosen - they had intended to take 20 from each school (Marshall Elementary, Oak Grove, and Westhills).

The Junior Auxiliary also plays a big part. Their Coat Drive is the same day, and each child participating in Cops for Kids, as well as their family members, is getting a winter coat, plus gloves and scarf.

The JAL is providing some chaperones for the shopping expedition, and so is the Sub-Deb sorority at Marshall County High School, and the MCHS student council. Some off-duty police officers will also be along, said Mitchell.

Letters went home to the children last week, notifying them to be at the Police Department at 8:45 a.m. Saturday morning. From there, they go by school bus to Wal-Mart.

Forbis says "Wal-Mart is helping us," and each child will have up to $100 to spend. The chaperones are going to encourage the kids to get some clothes and other useful items before they select toys.

When the shopping spree is over, the children and the rest of the group will ride the school bus to Shoney's where the restaurant is treating them to a meal at the breakfast bar. Then it's back to the police department and a reunion with their families.