Allegany County Sheriff Rick Whitney presented a check for $1,850.00 to Linda Bierman of the Wellsville Kmart store for the annual Shop with a Cop program. The money was raised through the sheriff’s office beard-for-bucks program where officers can grow beards from October 1st – December 31st if they donate $25 to the program, the TRIAD program and private donations.
This marks the 25th year for the shop with a cop program that welcomes underprivileged children for a morning of shopping they might not otherwise experience. Over 2,500 Allegany County children have participated in the program since its inception.
The program gives each child breakfast with Santa, a wrapped gift for themselves and cash to shop for gifts for their family. The bonus is that the children get their “very own cop” to help them with their shopping. The children, some afraid of police, have a chance to see the officers in a different setting and get to spend some quality time with an officer.
Once their gifts our chosen and paid for, volunteers and other community members help the children wrap their gifts in colorful Christmas paper. Then it’s back home hopefully with memories of a new friend in a police uniform.