The White House Police Department and Fire Department recently partnered with the White House Rotary Club to once again support Shop with a Cop/Firefighter. The program sponsors children from disadvantaged families to provide gifts each Christmas. This was the sixth consecutive year of the program.

During the event, children are partnered with a police office or firefighter while they shop at Wal-Mart for presents for themselves and family members.

Detective Sgt. Dan Hunter said of the program, “For many of the children, this will be the only Christmas gifts they receive.”

Monetary donations are welcomed and can be made through the Farmer’s Bank at either the Highway 76 or 31W locations by mentioning the White House Rotary Club Shop with a Cop/Firefighter Program.

According to Hunter, Covid changed a lot of things this year but it didn’t dissuade the important work of the volunteers,

“The event typically offers food, drinks, and table for wrapping presents for the families. I also normally have approximately 30 to 40 volunteers that come from the police department, fire department, City departments, and schools,” Hunter said. “Family members and citizens join each year as well. This year we had a limited number of people/volunteers. No food, drink, or wrapping tables were provided.

“I also split the times up for the families so that I could only have so many children shopping at a time. Temperature devices, masks, and hand sanitizer were on hand inside the store and parents could only stay inside if their children were shopping. Once the shopping was completed, each family was provided some wrapping paper and assisted back out to their vehicle. All event personnel had to wear masks and all the participants and their families had to as well. The application process this year had to add a Covid-19 waiver and the parents had to agree to the face mask policy.”

This year 22 local children and their families benefitted from the Rotary Club golf fundraiser to support the event. In past years, the police and fire departments also hosted a bowling fundraiser but it was cancelled this year due to the pandemic. Wal-Mart is a big supporter - Subway, Value Vans and Craig’s Construction also contributed to the event. In the past, Bojangles and Little Ceasar’s provided food for the kids and volunteers.

“This city and community are blessed each and every year,” said Hunter.  “I cannot express enough appreciation about all the people and business mentioned above.”

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