WILLIAMSON - Each holiday season, the deputies with the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) make a number of local children’s dreams come true, as they participate in the “Shop With a Deputy” Christmas project that provides a shopping experience that will not be soon forgotten.
For approximately 15 years, the MCSD has raised funding to sponsor the “Shop with a Deputy” event, which has allowed them to take 10-15 students from each elementary school to a major department store where they select toys, games, etc., that total in the $100 range.
“We always ask that the teachers and administrators choose the children for this program because they know what the family’s financial situations are,” stated MCSD Chief Field Deputy, James Smith. “For the last two years, we raised enough money to take 15 kids from each school and we spent right around $100 on each of them. Sometimes siblings will show up who isn’t school age yet and we try to hold back a little bit of the funds we raise so that we can buy a toy for them too.”
Last year, the deputies raised approximately $9,400 for the program, and in 2010 they had a budget of more than $10,000 to spend on the children.
“The economy is bad this year due to the decline in the mining industry, which means that families are in need of assistance more than ever, but at the same time it means a tougher job for us to raise the needed funding,” stated MCSD Sgt. Joe Smith. “We’re asking that everyone digs a little deeper and gives with their heart, as we do our very best to make sure that these children enjoys a good holiday.”
Deputies will be conducting roadblocks throughout the county on Saturday, Dec. 1st, collecting monetary donations to assist with funding. You may also drop your donations by the MCSD office, located on the 1st floor of the courthouse, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you would like to send your donation by mail, you are asked to make your check or money order payable to “Shop with a Deputy”, and mail it to the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department, P.O. Box 1270, Williamson, WV 25661. All donations must be received no later than Wed., Dec. 19th.
If you want to make a donation and would rather have a deputy pick it up at your place of business or residence, you may call 304-235-0300 and arrangements will be made to accommodate you.
“Christmas is all about the children, and we’re very proud to know that this program has played an important part in making the wishes of hundreds of kids become a reality throughout the past 15 plus years, and it’s a tradition that we want to see continue for many years yet to come,” concluded Sgt. Smith.