The “Shop with a Cop” program received a donation Monday morning that will enable the program to help at least 100 children in northwest Missouri.
Mike Hardin is the President of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3. Hardin said the $15,000 donation from American Family Insurance employees in St. Joseph means they’ll be able to serve many more children this year.
“The huge donation we received was unbelievable,” Hardin said. “The employees have been, for months now, raising money through different bake sales to give us a donation. That donation was much larger than we ever anticipated and with that donation we’re going to be able to go from the, usually about 30 kids a year that we get to take shop with us, to (being) able to help a hundred kids this year in northwest Missouri.”
Hardin said every year they partner with the St. Joseph School District and other school districts in the surrounding area.
“We have them pick out well-deserving children whose Christmas may not be as bright without our help. So those children get to come and shop with a uniformed officer and each and every year it’s very special to us,” Hardin said. “We are able to get to know these kids as we shop with them, we get to talk to them and get to know them personally and they get to know us and see us in a different light than just as police officers. They get to see us as people and come to know that we’re nice people too and we’re here to help them and we want to be their friends.”
Shop with a Cop will take place later this month.