After 11 years, the previous retail partner of Columbus Division of Police has decided not to continue their sponsorship of Shop With A Cop, and we need your help. This beautiful program worked with schools to identify kids who had good grades and were good citizens but who perhaps needed a little something extra to make their holidays special.
Each of CPD's 20 precincts selects two students for this honor, and officers from around the city travel to the shopping center on the designated night to help the student and their family shop. Volunteers wrap presents. Santa stops by. Last year, Starfish was there and we were able to buy a brand new coat for every child who needed one, even siblings. It was a truly magical event that we were honored to be part of.
Lt Scott Bartholow, who is the first officer our founder Nicole Banks ever spoke to about her dream of establishing Starfish, is the organizer of this program every year. He submitted his application in the spring, as he does every year, but was just informed this week that it was turned down. Because it is so late in the season, it will be a challenge to find a new retail sponsor, but we know that we can keep this going, and maybe even expand it to include families. Sometimes we see these families shopping with their kids and it is very obvious that the entire family could benefit from blessings. Last year, one family was late because they had taken three buses from the homeless shelter they were living in to be at the event. The officers had no idea until after they arrived, or of course they would have picked them up. (But that gives you an idea of how much the program means to people.)
We're very happy to say that CME Federal Credit Union has already renewed their commitment to this program. (We love them!) We're asking for your donations to help continue the Shop With A Cop program this year. Thank you.