Forrest General’s Public Safety Treats Children to Shop with a Cop

Police officers across the nation spread Christmas cheer to families in need by hosting their own Shop with a Cop events. 

Forrest General’s Public Safety Treats Children to Shop with a Cop

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (December 22, 2020) – Forrest General’s Public Safety Department held its 6th Annual Shop with a Cop this year. Eight children from three different Pine Belt families were honored this holiday season.

In previous years, police officers, the children and their families shopped together for gifts. But this year, due to the pandemic, the families and children shopped without their cop friends. The children were each given a $100 gift card to spend at WalMart.

Forrest General’s Sgt. Jessica Sparkman met with families prior to their shopping trip. Stockings were also handed out to the children.

Kickoff for the annual event begins each year with Public Safety’s No Shave November where officers pay $25 to not shave during the month. Those funds go toward Shop with a Cop. “Even if they don’t do it, a lot of officers still contribute,” said Willie McDay, an FGH officer who headed up this year’s Shop with a Cop. “Shop with a Cop relies on donations more than anything. Any donations that come in after the event are put into an account to be rolled over for the next year’s event.”

The Public Safety officers, employees from other areas of the hospital, and Walmart contributed generously for each child to have money to spend on toys, games, and other items for Christmas.

“We want to thank WalMart who partners with us for Shop with a Cop,” McDay said. 

One child, wearing a dinosaur shirt and mask, knew exactly where he was heading – the dinosaur aisle, while others were looking at computer games, a variety of toys, and clothes. Parents of the children were appreciative.

“I am proud of Officer Willie McDay for leading our department’s Shop with a Cop program, and proud of our officers who contribute money, because they want to help children who otherwise would have very little at Christmas,” said Assistant Chief of Police Mike Dewease. “We are blessed to have the opportunity to work with so many officers who truly care about others.”

Police officers across the nation spread Christmas cheer to families in need by hosting their own Shop with a Cop events. The primary purpose of the event is to foster positive relationships between youth and officers.

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Beth Bunch

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Please submit all media requests via email to beth.bunch@forrestgeneral.com or by phone at 601-288-1303.

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