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“This year I am going to shop with a cop … from this end,” said Hardin County Deputy Sheriff Bud Baumgardner, remembering back to 1997, the year he became a deputy.
Growing up, Baumgardner said his family was poor, and his brother would get picked by the schools for the Shop-With-A-Cop program, but he never did, noting his brother was a little messier than him.
After that first year, returning to participate in the program was to “see the look on kids’ faces,” Baumgardner said.
Thursday morning the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 40’s Shop-With-A-Cop program for 2010 completed its mission at the Walmart in Elizabethtown.
Officers with the Elizabethtown Police Department, Radcliff Police Department and Hardin County Sheriff’s Office, and other volunteers, from the community helped roughly 200 children from around the county shop for clothes and toys, said FOP Lodge 40 program coordinator Chuck Warren.
Individuals and businesses donated more than $24,000 to the program this year.
RPD Capt. Willie Wells said when he was at the check-out with a child a woman gave him a donation of $100 to help another child. She didn’t give her name but said, “Just tell them Merry Christmas.”
This year each child was allotted $100 to spend.
Children and their parents or guardians were matched with volunteers and took to the racks.
Calculators in hand, volunteers kept track of running totals.
They helped the children spend the first $90 on clothes, and if the child wanted he or she could spend the last $10 on a toy or other gift for themselves.
One child, Thomas New, 8, kept some element of surprise in his gift even though he picked it out. He chose Hot Wheels Mystery cars. They come in a package that has black plastic instead of clear, so the car is a mystery.
The reason, Thomas chose them, among the other cars he selected: “Because I don’t know what’s in them.”
Jill Pickett can be reached at (270) 505-1755.