Each holiday season, law enforcement officials and departments begin campaigns to give back to their communities.
Locally, the Noblesville police and fire departments are celebrating charitable milestones that have benefitted the community for decades. The police dept. welcomed the holidays with its 20th annual Shop With a Cop program. The fire dept, meanwhile, celebrated the 40th year of its annual Christmas Food & Toy Drive.
SHOP WITH A COP
Shop with a Cop, led by the Noblesville Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 198, was held Dec. 2.
The program provides underprivileged children in Noblesville and Noblesville Township with warm clothes to help them get through the winter months.
Noblesville Police Dept. Cpt. Jon Williams, who has coordinated the program every year since it began, said the Shop with a Cop participants (infants to age 16) come from a holiday assistance list given to the Noblesville F.O.P. by Nancy Chance, executive director of the Good Samaritan Network, or from recommendations of police officers.
This year, the event assisted more than 70 children.
“It’s an opportunity to see in real time a positive impact in the community,” Williams said. “All of our officers have been called to negative situations. We like to think as police officers that in the larger scheme, we are making the world a better place. For this one- to two-hour timeframe, officers are making a difference that lasts a lot longer than this singular event.”
The children selected to participate shopped with their parent or guardian and uniformed Noblesville police officers to pick out winter clothes, including coats, gloves, shirts, pants, boots, underwear and pajamas. Because the event is held before the holidays, each child is given the opportunity to select a toy as well.
Lodge President Sgt. Jamie Aloisio said approximately 20 officers and 15 family members participated.
“Year after year, the turnout is tremendous,” Aloisio said. “Officers see it as another way to give back to the community and look forward to the event. It’s also been great for our families to see us interact with the public. So many shoppers have come up and thanked us for our service. Noblesville is such a supportive community, and it’s wonderful that our families can see that since they aren’t with us every day.”
To assist the annual Shop with a Cop program, anyone who would like to donate is asked to make checks payable to NFOP Lodge #198 and write Shop with a Cop in the memo line. Checks should be mailed to: Shop With A Cop, Noblesville FOP 198, P.O. Box 2013, Noblesville, IN 46061-2013.
Donations tax deductible as a charitable contribution, and 100 percent of proceeds go to the program.
FOOD & TOY DRIVE
On the firefighting side, the Noblesville Fire Dept. will deliver food and toys this week to Noblesville families in need for the 40th straight year.
The department recently received donations from local businesses, organizations and individuals. Each year, it partners with Kroger and Meijer stores for food and toys. Monetary donations can still be made to NFD’s Legacy Fund.
This year, NFD will assist approximately 110 less-fortunate families.
“For four decades, the Noblesville Fire Dept. has had the honor of delivering food and toys on behalf of the generous citizens and businesses of Noblesville, who willingly donate to this great cause,” Noblesville Fire Chief Greg Wyant said. “The gratitude displayed by the recipients of these gifts is impossible to describe.”
Throughout November, police officers in Noblesville let their beards grow for the annual No-Shave November campaign.
Locally, the initiative was started to help raise money for the Noblesville F.O.P.’s Shop With a Cop program.
The Noblesville Police Dept. announced Dec. 2 that it raised nearly $1,500 for the annual event. It opened voting on its Facebook page the same day.
Here are the final voting results:
5th place – Sgt. Kehl , 20 votes
4th place – Officer Linn and K-9 Bonnie, 26 votes
3rd place – Lt. Cunningham, 29 votes
2nd place – Sgt. Coffey, 30 votes
1st place – Officer Shonkwiler, 55 votes