Adapting to a new normal and trying to continue tradition safely can be challenging. There are many in need during the holiday season and even more than usual this year. Riverbank Police Services will continue the annual Shop with a Cop event with some creative adjustments due to the pandemic.
There are 40 children from approximately 12 families that will benefit from the program this year. The items will be delivered this year along with pizza and soft drinks to each family in December. Normally the Deputies and family volunteers shop with the kids in the Riverbank Crossroads Kohl’s store, however, due to the pandemic this will not occur. A special guest will join the caravan to deliver the items in true Christmas fashion showering the recipients with gifts and goodness.
“Our Shop with a Cop program is a little different this year due to COVID,” stated RPS Chief Ed Ridenour. “Rather than shop with the kids in person, we have a list of essential items they need along with their sizes and preferences. Our volunteers will be assigned a family, and they will shop for the kids using the provided list.”’
The pizza party was canceled as large gatherings are prohibited statewide with a few limited exceptions according to the State COVID-19 mandate.
“Each family will get a special visit where we hope to bring a little joy and excitement and provide the family a night off from cooking,” added Ridenour. “I am very proud of our community, the countless volunteers, and all our donors that have come together to make this event happen.”
The annual Shop with a Cop event has assisted low income families with essentials for the past 12 years in the City of Action. Deputies and their families volunteer to shop with the kids each year where they select things like jeans, shirts, coats, and shoes.
Donations are still being accepted for the program and for those that want to donate, call 209-869-7162.
“We continue to gear up for our Shop with a Cop event,” noted Ridenour. “Our fundraising efforts continue, and we look forward to bringing a joyful Christmas to these less fortunate children and families.”