Pineville Police Department’s ‘Shop with a Cop’ a success

The 2019 Pineville City Police Department Shop with a Cop event was a huge success this year, according to organizer officer Brandon Hollingsworth.

“This year, we were more successful than we were last year and ended up getting to bring 12 more kids,” he explained. “We were at 82 total and they received $125 for each kid, which is awesome because some of these kids don’t get a lot for Christmas. It means a lot for us officers to raise money and see the smiles on the kids face when they are doing this.”

The annual Shop with a Cop is sponsored by the Pineville Rotary Club and is held each year at Walmart in Middlesboro.

“We are excited about continuing this program for the students of Pineville Schools in the years to come,” Hollingsworth said. “With the support and donations from our community, we are excited for the possibilities of the future for the Shop with a Cop program sponsored by the Pineville Rotary Club to reach even more children.”

Coordinator of the Family Resource Youth Center Jamie Mills said this is his 26 year with the organization.

“They raise the money and they do a tremendous job,” Mills explained. “They will tell us how many kids they will be able to take that year and how much each kid gets. At that point, we try to split the number in half. It will be preschool through sixth and seventh through 12th.”

Mills explained that they choose the children based on staff referrals. Teachers, as well as those who work in the cafeteria, will make their recommendation on the children they feel need it.

“If a child is referred, we make sure that all the siblings go too,” he said. “This takes several weeks to get ready. We have to get permission slips and make sure that we don’t leave anybody off.”

Through donations, they were able to serve 12 more children than they did in 2018.

“We wouldn’t be able to do this if it weren’t for all the people donating their money to us,” Hollingsworth explained. “Actually, I went out three or four days over probably a three-week span. Just went to every business in Pineville and some in Middlesboro and asked them what they would be interested in donating with us and they were more than glad to donate.”

“I just want to give a big thank you to the police department for the money they raise,” Mills said graciously. “Without them and the Shop with a Cop, we would not be able to service that many children.”

Both said that the most important thing is that the children are happy.

“It’s heartwarming to see that they do appreciate it and they are so excited,” Mills said. “We get all this stuff back to the school and then try to get it back to their homes.”

He said that it is tough because some don’t have transportation and many cannot take the items on the bus.

“It takes about a week to get it all back out,” he said.

With the success of this year’s event, Hollingsworth only wants to see growth in the upcoming years.

“It’s really a big thing for us, and we really love doing it. Hopefully, we can keep building on this and make it even bigger next year,” he explained. “It’s been a huge success, and hopefully next year we can get to 100 kids. That is my main goal, to keep building on it and show these kids that someone cares about them and hopefully that we made a difference and they have a good Christmas because of us.”

The Pineville City Police would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated and assisted.

The Department also wants to extend a special thanks to the following donors: The Pineville Lions Club, the Pineville Kiwanis Club, First State Bank of the Southeast, Commercial Bank, Community Trust Bank, Arnett & Steele Funeral Home, Ron Gilley, Shock Marketing, Chu-Cho, Pineville Pawn, Pic Pac, Bisceglia Realty, Tim Short, Asher Land Mineral, Taylor’s Drug Store, Old City Loft, Howard Corp, Justin Mays Insurance, Danny Luttrell Insurance, Gambrel and Wilder Law, Audrey Kinder, Mountain Tarp, Debbie Gambrel, Sauced, Walmart, Golf Preservations, Milton Brooks, and Kentucky Utilities Employees.

“Without their donations none of this would be possible,” Hollingsworth said.

If you are interested in donating to the program for 2020, you can contact Hollingsworth with the Pineville City Police Department at 606-337-2207.