Shop With a Cop Program Helps Kids in Need This Holiday Season - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Shop With a Cop Program Helps Kids in Need This Holiday Season

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Around 100 kids in need in the Ohio Valley will have a Christmas this year.

"If I could be rich one time a year, it would be Christmastime.  It just fills my heart," Sandra Desilvestri of Wheeling said.

The annual Shop With A Cop program was put on by the Wheeling Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 38 took place at Walmart at The Highlands on Sunday.  Eighteen Wheeling Police officers donated their time for free, all to see a big smile on each child's face.

"It is great to get out and interact with the kids.  They get real excited. It makes me feel good giving back to the community.  Especially seeing the bright faces make it special this holiday season," Highway Safety Director of the Wheeling Police Department Neil Fowkes said.

Each child was given $100 of free spending money to buy what they want this Christmas.  They walked around with family, plus a Wheeling Police officer.

"We're including middle schools now.  We just did elementary before.  We are trying to help as many kids as we can," organizer and member of the Fraternal Order of Police Tom Howard said.

The Fraternal Order of Police works with the Ohio County School Board of Education to find out who qualifies for the program.

This is the first time Sandra Desilvestri, who lives on a fixed income, had the opportunity to take her two grandchildren Serenity and Jacob to the Shop With A Cop program.

"I know these days just how they are at Christmastime when the kids are expecting and we can't deliver it.  It breaks your heart.  Shop With A Cop is a Christmas miracle," Desilvestri said.

"Me and Jacob have been waiting a whole week for this, we are just so excited,"Serenity Desilvestri of Wheeling said.

Serenity was so excited as she went through her Christmas list.  She was also given the opportunity to build a relationship with local law enforcement.

"We are better to get to know them so we can trust them," Serenity Desilvestri said.

"It teaches them not to be afraid, teaches respect and we are out to help them," Sandra Desilvestri said.

This will also give the kids a Christmas to remember.

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