Our Shop With a Cop event with Columbus Division of Police was incredibly special. We had children and their families from all across the city come to Walmart Columbus - Morse Rd to go holiday shopping with CPD officers. Two children were selected for each of Columbus's twenty precincts, and they were picked by their schools based on need, being great students, good citizens, and kind people. Thanks to donations from Walmart, CME Federal Credit Union, and Starfish supporters, each child received $150 to spend on whatever they wanted.
That is where the fun started!
Some kids came with lists--they knew exactly what they wanted and had it all budgeted out. (Those are great life skills and we are very proud of them!) One girl announced to South Side Community Liaison Officer Ted Stacy that she wanted makeup. He jokingly recounted this story to us as she stood next to him, laughing: "Do I look like I know where the makeup is? But you know what? A guy walked by and heard us. HE knew where the makeup was. He told us right where it was." (By the way, the makeup she had on was lovely, and we told her that. Nice that she was able to add to her collection and can practice her skills.)
We had a budding engineer and chemistry enthusiast who loaded his cart up with items that suited those interested. That drew the attention and admiration of Starfish volunteer Jack Carlin, who himself is an engineering major at Miami University.
Because we staggered the arrival times of the students in order to avoid long lines as much as possible, one of many Covid precautions we put in place in conjunction with CPD, most of the officers had to wait quite a while for a student shopper to arrive, but that didn't dampen their enthusiasm at all. When their name was called, they excitedly moved forward to go shopping.
Thanks to Walmart, CME Federal Credit Union, and all of you amazing Starfish donors for helping make this night possible for these great kids. We asked for help, and you answered. You did this, and you're fantastic! 🎅💙