A law enforcement tradition continued this month with the Miami County FOP Lodge 58 Christmas Outreach Program and Services (COPS) shopping and meals/gift delivery for area families.
The project, formerly known as Shop With a Cop, goes forward no matter what the weather as members of law enforcement and the county Victim Witness program accompany families for shopping at the Troy Meijer, this year on Dec. 9.
Afterward, volunteers wrap those gifts at the FOP Lodge, preparing for delivery the following week of gifts for the younger children and those who didn’t take the gifts home the night of shopping.
Two Santas accompany the COPS teams, whose members include police officers, correction officers, victim advocates and probation officers.
Billie Ray, president of the FOP Lodge 58, said many people make the annual program a success including those who make money contributions, participate in FOP activities and the lodge itself. Donations came from Meijer along with Piqua Wal-Mart and other businesses, he said.
“We also worked with Children Services and the VA Administration of Miami County. All of this was made possible with our golf outing in July and the generous donations of businesses and citizens of Miami County,” Ray said.
This year the program served 40 families with meals and 84 children with presents.