More Lewisburg children than ever before will get a chance to shop for Christmas presents tomorrow, thanks to the Cops for Kids program.
Many local individuals and groups have contributed to Cops for Kids. Wednesday after school Charleigh Cagle and Cece Raffo, president and treasurer of Marshall County High School's Sub Deb group, visited the Lewisburg Police Department and handed Lt. Rebekah Mitchell a check for $250.
"Sub Deb always pulls through for me," Mitchell said. "That's two and a half children," she added, explaining that each child will get $100 to spend at a local retailer Saturday morning.
Mitchell expects just over 100 children to assemble at Oak Grove Elementary School by 7:45 a.m. They will ride to the store in two school buses, and be paired up with their escorts at start shopping, hopefully by 8:30 or so.
About 40 of the Sub Deb members will be at the store to help the children shop, along with members of the MCHS Beta Club and Student Council, as well as members of the LifeSong Family Church youth group. There will be at least one person to help each child.
They'll be back at Oak Grove by noon to eat a lunch provided by Shoney's before dispersing back to their families with their bags of gifts.
"The need has been unbelievable," said Mitchell. "The need is tremendous because people have lost their jobs."
Mitchell says she leaves it to the guidance counselors at the Lewisburg elementary schools to select the participants for Cops for Kids, but also says she's had over 100 phone calls from families who wish their children could be included.
"We have a lot of fun," Mitchell said. "It's lots of hard work, but it's very rewarding in the end. It's an eye-opening experience - to see how many kids wouldn't have a Christmas without this."
"They love it," said Cagle, referring to her Sub Deb members. She explains that they are "a bunch of girls who want to do better in the community - like a college sorority." This Christmas the Sub Debs are also singing Christmas carols at NHC Lewisburg, and doing an Angel Tree.
Mitchell had a fund-raiser in Rock Creek Park to raise money for Cops for Kids this year and says that "helped a lot." She definitely wants to do that again next year, as well as whatever else is necessary to make Christmas happen for children who otherwise wouldn't have anything.
Cops for Kids is a long-standing tradition here: the Lewisburg Police Department has been doing it for close to 20 years, according to Mitchell.
It's never too late to help - if you don't manage to give before Saturday, what you contribute later will be saved in a special account for next year.