One would be hard pressed to say who got more pleasure out of the 15th Annual Williamsburg Police Department Shop with a Cop event Thursday evening at Walmart.
Was it the nearly 150 less fortunate children, who each got $100 shopping sprees, or was it the 30 or so police officers and other volunteers, who were helping out?
“I think we do. I really do. I think the police officers, and the people who come and help us I think they really enjoy it,” said Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird
“We do a lot of events throughout the year, but this one in my opinion is at the top of the list. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the look on some of these kids’ faces when we get that buggy full of toys or clothes or whatever it be that they get. It is the best feeling in the world.”
Mayor Roddy Harrison said that it’s a tough call.
“Realistically, I would say it is pretty equal, but we get an awful lot of enjoyment,” he added
In addition to Williamsburg police, several police officers from other departments, firefighters, EMS workers, volunteers from the University of the Cumberlands, social workers, and several employees from Williamsburg City Hall all pitched in to help make the event possible.
“We have tremendous support from the community. We have really hard workers at city hall. Hats off to Gina (Hamblin). She works really hard on this thing along with the rest of the girls at city hall, who help put it together,” Bird said.
“It is a joy for all of us to be out here to shop with these kids, who are less fortunate. The biggest thing for us is we want to thank all the donors, who repeatedly donate to this program. It if weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be out here doing this.”
Harrison said that this year volunteers raised about $16,000 for the event.
“It is probably one of the best things we have started. It is rewarding because of the hugs you get and the smiles that you get and the thank yous that you get. It really just brings out the spirit of Christmas. This is probably my favorite event,” Harrison said.
Angela Gadow had a nine-year-old, four-year-old and one-year-old grandchildren, who she is raising, take part in Thursday’s event.
“It means a lot to me. It helps out,” Gadow noted adding that it is hard to afford to buy toys along with all the other expenses this time a year. “This helps a lot.”