The 20th annual Shop with a Cop program, led by the Noblesville Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 198, was Saturday, at the Noblesville Meijer store, 17000 Mercantile Blvd. This program provides underprivileged children in Noblesville and Noblesville Township with warm clothing to help them get through the winter months.
NPD Cpt. Jon Williams, who has coordinated the program every year since it began, said the Shop with a Cop participants - infants to 16 year olds - come from a holiday assistance list given to the Noblesville F.O.P. by Nancy Chance of Good Samaritan Network or from recommendations of police officers. This year, the event assisted more than 70 children.
"It's an opportunity to see in real time a positive impact in the community," said Williams. "All of our officers have been called to negative situations. We like to think as police officers that in the larger scheme, we are making the world a better place. For this one- to two-hour timeframe, officers are making a difference that lasts a lot longer than this singular event."
The children selected to participate in the program went shopping with their parent/guardian as well as uniformed Noblesville police officers to pick out winter clothes including coats, gloves, shirts, pants, boots, underwear and pajamas. Because the event is held before the holidays, each child is given the opportunity to select a toy as well.
Lodge President Sgt. Jamie Aloisio said 20 officers and 15 family members participated.
"Year after year, the turnout is tremendous. Officers see it as another way to give back to the community and look forward to the event," he said. "It's also been great for our families to see us interact with the public. So many shoppers have come up and thanked us for our service. Noblesville is such a supportive community and it's wonderful that our families can see that since they aren't with us every day."
To assist the annual Shop with a Cop program, those who would like to donate are asked to make checks payable to "NFOP Lodge #198" and write "Shop with a Cop" in the check's memo line. Checks should be mailed to: Shop With A Cop; Noblesville FOP 198; P.O. Box 2013; Noblesville, IN 46061-2013. Please note that donations to this program are tax deductible as a charitable contribution and 100 percent of the money raised goes toward supporting this program. For more information, contact Cpt. Jon Williams at (317) 770-5754 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Sgt. Jamie Aloisio at email@example.com.