Santa’s helpers

Cops to take kids on shopping spree
Dec. 12, 2012 @ 04:05 PM

Area police are coming together to make sure that a special group of children get Christmas.
Members of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 79 have identified a number of families in the Guilford, Davidson and Randolph County area who may have had a difficult time providing Christmas for their children. Instead, they will take the children shopping to make sure they will get a gift for the holidays.
“We take underprivileged children out Christmas shopping and spend about $25 per kid,” said lodge President Hodgist E. Stephens. “We usually contact social services departments who give us the names of the families.“
The Cops and Kids program provides less-fortunate children an opportunity to experience the Christmas spirit and is designed to build relationships between the lodge and the community. It also provides the law enforcement officers, residents and businesses an opportunity to give back to their communities and share in the spirit of giving.
Officers accompanying underprivileged kids shopping for presents helps to show the children and their families that law enforcement officers in their area are friends and are there to help. They are not allowed to get weapon items or makeup, but anything else is fair game.
“This is something we have been doing since before I became a member in 1997,” Stephens said. “This is a chance to show the children that police are not out there to get them, but are out there to help. We are trying to tell them, ‘Do not be afraid to come to the police when you need help,’ instead of running someplace else.”
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Shopping locations
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The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 79 will meet Saturday at the Walmart, 121 W. Elmsley St., Greensboro, at 10 a.m. They will meet again at 2 p.m. to shop at the Kmart in Thomasville, 1122 Randolph St.

For more information on the lodge, visit: www.ncfoplodge79.org