Time change in store for Shop with a Cop
The sixth annual Shop with a Cop is in the works, and according to coordinator Erin Heidemann, they have gotten the work down to a science.
Heidemann said that this unique program includes the Kimball School District, Potter-Dix School District, Kimball County Sheriff’s Office, Kimball Police Department, Kimball Ambulance crew, Dix First Responders, Bushnell Fire Department, Kimball Fire Department and the Nebraska State Patrol.
The men and women in these departments, as well as volunteers from the Ladies Auxiliary and throughout the community, join forces to “share the joy of Christmas” with children and families in our county.
Though the committee tries to offer new children the opportunity each year, they also work with the local Rotary club, so last year’s children can be added to the Rotary’s Giving Tree, to still receive help during the holidays.
“We have several people that just show up that morning to volunteer,” Heidemann said. “Some of them like to go shopping and some like to stay back and help the firemen. The Firemen provide a great breakfast for the kids.”
The program’s primary goal is to provide one-on-one attention from local law enforcement and emergency crews while creating a positive and exciting Christmas experience.
“This is one of many ways Kimball’s Public Safety professionals make a positive contribution to the community,” Heidemann stated.
Check in between 7 and 7:30 as opposed to years past, when it began as early as 6 a.m.
“Six was too early. For the kids it is rough, getting them to eat breakfast and getting them to focus,” she said. “We plan to be out to ShopKo, and then be done by eight.”
Children that are chosen receive a $100 gift card to use at ShopKo, which they can use on friends, family members or themselves. Additionally, the program provides a $50 gift card from Main Street Market for the family, meant to provide the items needed for a holiday dinner.
“When I first started, several years ago, they were doing 90 kids,” she said. “We just didn’t have enough volunteers to cover that many kids.”
The committee decided to reduce the number of children they serve to 50 and add the food cards for each of them.
The total cost is more than $6,500, according to Heidemann, who added that both ShopKo and Main Street Market offer the program a great discount as well.
“All the money raised for Shop with a Cop stays in Kimball, she concluded. “We are talking $6,600 that stays right here.”