Highlands kids ‘Shop with a Cop’ for Christmas

Highlands Police Department gave about 16 area kids a magical day of shopping for Christmas gifts, hitting up The Factory in Franklin, and then wrapping all their goodies at the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in Highlands on Saturday through Shop with a Cop (SWAC).

“We participate in Shop with a Cop because we enjoy spending time with the kids,” said HPD Detective Andrea Holland. “When we deal with people, we may only see the bad, on this day, all we see is the good. It’s nice to get away from it all and just enjoy smiling and laughing. It’s good for the heart.”

Highlands police officers took Highlands area youth to Franklin on Saturday to “Shop with a Cop” for Christmas. Photo courtesy of HPD.

The idea of SWAC is to take children who may have seen a different side of law enforcement or whose parents may have fallen on hard times and brighten up their Christmas.

Each child receives $100 to purchase gifts for themselves, but they have to buy one gift for someone else. The children’s names are given to law enforcement by teachers and members of the community.

From left are HPD Officers Eryn Sueyklang and Ron Castle helping kids wrap presents at Shop with a Cop.

Holland said the money is raised throughout the year through fundraisers and donations. Once all the shopping was finished and the kids had spent some time jumping on trampolines at The Factory, they headed back up the mountain to the Episcopal Church to wrap up their goods.

“The Episcopal Church began participating several years ago,” said Holland. “They provide wrapping paper for the gifts, coats, hats, and other items for the children. They have been instrumental in making our experiences with the kids brighter.”

Holland said they took about 16 children shopping this year and last year all told, Macon County took about 200 kids shopping.

HPD Officer Tim Moore helps kids carry their gifts into the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in Highlands.

Kids were able to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus during Shop with a Cop.

From left are HPD Officer Courtney Swanson and HPD Detective Andrea Holland arriving to help children wrap Christmas gifts.

Pictured below are photos courtesy of Highlands Police Department.

Article and Photos by Brian O’Shea
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