Local kids have happy Christmas thanks to public safety department; Washington PD, Fire-EMS host tenth annual gift giveaway

Published 2:31 pm Tuesday, December 20, 2022

With assistance from the City of Washington Police Department and Fire-EMS, 33 local children  will have a happy Christmas morning opening gifts. They hosted a Shop with a Cop event where gifts were donated to 33 local children on Friday, Dec. 16 at the Bobby Andrews Recreation Center in Washington. 

Director of Police and Fire Services, Stacey Drakeford, said when Shop with a Cop began ten years ago, it was the first community oriented project public safety had done. The event helps public safety employees understand they are “true public servants,” Dakeford said. 

“All I have to do is see one child smile and I’m happy,” Drakeford said about Shop with a Cop. 

“Community engagement is what drives us,” Interim Fire Chief R.M. Flowers said. “We typically see people when they’re having bad days, but this is a time for us to see them when we can give back to them, brighten their lives, especially kids.”

Carethamack brought her two children to Shop with a Cop. She said she is “truly grateful” for the event, because it made a difference in her life. “I was a little short this month and I could only get them some clothes and shoes.” She wanted to give them toys, but it didn’t seem possible. She received a phone call informing her of the event. She was happy and overwhelmed because “all kids deserve toys and to be happy on Christmas day.” 

Shop with a Cop is made possible by monetary donations from local businesses and individuals. The event continues this week as public safety donates gift bags filled with toiletries to local nursing homes.