Reported By Heather Jensen, Reporter - bio | email
FRANKLIN, Tenn. -
More than a dozen Williamson County school children are ready to go back to school thanks to the Shop with a Cop program.
On Sunday morning, 18 families with nearly 50 children came to the Franklin Wal-Mart to stock up on school supplies and clothes.
"Children get all their school supplies, the majority of what we can find on their school supply list," said Brentwood Officer John Maxwell. "Also, they get 125 dollars to spend on clothing, shoes, underwear and socks; necessities first and other clothing as needed."
Maxwell is also the Williamson County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 41 President and organizer of this year's event. He told Nashville's News 2 this is the sixth year for the Back-to-School Shop with a Cop program, an off-shoot of the Christmas program of the same name.
The shopping spree is made possible through private donations and with the help of law enforcement agencies across the county.
As in years past, the program helps families in need that might not be able to otherwise afford basic school items. Families are referred to the program, many of them by officers or deputies they met in the line of duty.
"This may be the only positive aspect they see of a law enforcement officer," Maxwell said. "They've seen us on those calls, and not all of 'em are going to be positive aspects, even if the child is the victim. So now they get to see a positive role model."
On Sunday, families were given a cart, supply list, clothing allowance, and an officer, deputy, or volunteer as a shopping buddy.
"While we were doing it, they were teaching me some dance moves," said volunteer Deanna Zieman. "So we had a good time!"
Zieman spent the morning with best friends Tarriyanna Brooks and Taniya Lawrence. The pair of soon-to-be second graders smiled and giggled while picking out everything from lunch boxes and backpacks to socks and underwear.
The girls will start school in the next week, and thanks to Shop with a Cop, they'll be ready.
For more information on Williamson County Shop with a Cop, contact Williamson County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 41 at www.lodge41.org.
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