New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
Lawrence County’s law enforcement and emergency community is gearing up for their annual Shop With a Cop.
The once-a-year shopping spree is where police and other emergency personnel pair off with underprivileged children to buy them things for Christmas that otherwise their families could not afford.
The overwhelming generosity of the community has made the event possible every year, explained New Castle patrolman Terry Dolquist, who organizes the effort.
So far, the New Castle police and other departments countywide have raised more than $9,000 for this year’s event, and it is still growing. That amount includes a $5,000 donation from Wal-Mart, which is the site of the annual event.
He hopes the funds will provide gifts for more than 100 children.
This year’s shopping date is Dec. 5.
According to Dolquist, the event couldn’t happen without the contributions that come annually from local businesses and private donors in the community.
“The money goes 100 percent to helping children,” he said.
Last year, a total of $19,000 was raised through donations, and Dolquist is hoping to reach or surpass that goal this year.
The local police and other officials paired off with 114 children to let them pick special gifts for themselves or other family members for Christmas. Each child received $125 to spend.
Another $3,000 was contributed to the Salvation Army to help buy backpacks for underprivileged children. The backpacks were given out at the agency-sponsored back-to-school event at Cascade Park.
Another contribution also went for the repair of a fence at Flahery Field through a local baseball league that was refurbishing the field.
Children who are selected for the Shop with a Cop shopping spree are chosen through local schools. People who know of needy children may contact their school prinicipals or guidance counselors to get their names on the list.
The police also get names from Lawrence County Children and Youth Services of children who are in foster care.
Anyone who would like to donate to Shop With a Cop may make checks payable to Shop With a Cop and donate them at the Greater New Castle Federal Credit Union.
Local departments helping with the effort include the New Castle police and fire departments, the Pulaski, Union, Shenango and Neshannock police, Noga Ambulance Services, Lawrence County Adult and Juvenile Probation departments, the Lawrence County sheriff’s office and the Lawrence County jail. This year, the U.S. Air Marshals of Pittsburgh also have promised to participate, Dolquist said.