Santa's elves wore uniforms and badges Sunday morning at Walmart at the Highlands for the annual "Shop with a Cop" event.
FOP Lodge 38 includes departments from Wheeling, Triadelphia, and West Liberty, as well as the Ohio County Sheriff's Department. FOP President Tom Howard says they team up with Ohio County Schools each year to make sure local children have something under their tree on Christmas morning.
"We do about $100 per child, so if there's a family with three children, they get three hundred dollars for the family," he says. "We have at least 15 officers here right now. They're donating their time to go around and work with all of the children."
Melanie Roeder and her two children, 11 year old Kainen, and 5 year old Zaileena, are shopping with a cop for the first time. Melanie says she couldn't be more grateful.
"I appreciate this to the fullest," she says. "I'm a single mom with two children, so it helps a lot."
Howard says he's delighted to be able to help more families even as the need increases.
"Last year we helped about 100 children," he says. "This year, we have over 200 children. The need has gotten a lot higher this year, so we're trying to help as many families as we can that don't have anything."
Cpl. Ward, of the Wheeling Police Department has donated his time to the event for eight years now. He helped Kainen pick out a remote control car, a jersey, and a classic game- checkers.
Zaileeana spent some of her time in the doll aisle. She also picked up some clothes and hair accessories.