As the month of December approaches, Jonesborough Kiwanis Club members are working with Sgt. Jamie Aistrop of the Jonesborough Police Department to fund the Annual “Shop With a Cop” charity event.
Shop With A Cop was established in 2009 as a partnership between Jonesborough Kiwanis and the Jonesborough Police Department. The goal is first and foremost to help less fortunate children and their families have the ability to enjoy a Christmas with gifts and a nice meal.
In addition, this program is designed to introduce children to our first responders in a positive environment, and to build a positive bond between children and first responders. Each child is paired with an officer from the local police, fire and other first responders in Jonesborough and Washington County.
Once paired, they have a meet-and-greet party at the Jonesborough Visitor Center over pizza and drinks, where the first responder and his or her new “partner” will get to know each other.
At the end of the party, the officer will escort his/her “partner child” to Walmart, either in a police car or limousine escorted by police.
Once in Walmart, the child will be given a gift card and he/she will go Christmas shopping for their family members as a team with the officer.
While shopping, a second group of volunteers will be wrapping gifts for the child. This will all be given to the family along with food that has been donated or purchased.
All this is coordinated with our county schools, other charity groups, and managed by the Jonesborough Police Department. It is a great event, and has grown financially from the ability to help 25 children in 2009 to being able to help 125 last year.
In fact, the program has been so successful, the Johnson City Police Department has created a similar program based on the Jonesborough model.
The reach of this program depends on funding and support from the community. There will be events throughout the weeks ahead that will serve as a vehicle to raise money so we can bring more children and families into the program.
Tax deductible donations may also be sent to the Kiwanis of Jonesborough Foundation, PO Box 826, Jonesborough, TN 37659 or the Jonesborough Police Department at Town Hall in Jonesborough through December 17.
For more information Sgt. Aistrop may be reached at 423-753-1045.