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Shop with a Cop 2022, helping 175+ kids smile more at Christmas

JOPLIN, Mo. — Despite the early Saturday morning, everyone was all smiles on December 10, 2022, more than 175 kids were able to ‘Shop with a Cop’ at Wal-Mart #59, 1501 S Rangeline, in Joplin.

  • CAPT DAVIS: Today is our Annual ‘Shop with a Cop’ where officers with the Joplin Police and Seneca Police are able to pair up with kids who may not have a great Christmas ahead of them, but we take them Christmas shopping today. It’s a great program we look forward to it each and every year.
  • Q: How many kids are here this morning?
  • CAPT DAVIS: This year we have about 180 kids between Joplin Police and Seneca Police, we both pair up. So kids are from Joplin Schools and Seneca Schools today.
  • Q: We are doing the math in our head? Each child gets $100 to spend on themselves and maybe someone special in their life. Wow! Who pays for all this?
  • CAPT DAVIS: This would not be possible without the generous donations from individuals, businesses, organizations, in and around the Joplin area. We are so thankful that each and every year they continue to donate to help make this possible.
  • Q: How is this event still special to you personally year after year?
  • CAPT DAVIS: This program is really special, when you get paired with a kid and they want to shop for people other than themselves. It really touches your heart. They maybe want to buy a present for mom, dad, brother, sister. It shows the true meaning what this is all about… helping others.

Fraternal Order of Police SWMo Lodge #27 members come together to help organize the event. Lodge members also donate money and time every year. Today we spotted Joplin Police Explorers, Joplin Police Sentinels, MSSU Criminal Justice students, Diamond Police, however dozens of others involved who were not able to attend in person.

Kids are mostly nominated by school resource officers and guidance counselors. They are each allotted a specific amount of money to shop. On a different day, which is more private, the foster children get to shop.

Wal-Mart #59 employees were numerous meeting kids and families in line with donuts, juice, milk and smiles. Dozens were there, including management, helping shoppers find certain items, keep the checkouts running smoothly, and perhaps cleaning up a spill or two quickly that happened while shopping!

I am not a part of this program, I just had to have my tires worked on today. But I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate what you all do!

Shopper talking to JPD Ofc 

Numerous other police departments and agencies across the area work to within their local communities to help those at Christmas. So there are opportunities to give everywhere.

Holding other events this season include (partial list, click each below to view):

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