It is once again the time of year when the Shop With a Cop program goes into full gear. This year has certainly been interesting—impacting all of our lives in almost every area—our program is no different. As a result of the ongoing health crisis, the annual Shop With a Cop event will be very different this year.
In the past, on a Saturday morning shortly before Christmas, police officers from local and state agencies would bring their families and volunteers to meet and shop with our community’s less fortunate children. This year, our organization will be getting lists of needed items for those children, do the shopping, and then arrange for delivery. While the purpose of the program is to provide necessities for these children while promoting positive interactions with law enforcement, some of those interactions are simply not possible this year. However, children who participate in the program will still receive needed items.
We at Shop With a Cop have also taken a different approach to fundraising this year, compared to recent years. Usually, the program is supported by one or two large corporate donors, small Cass County businesses, and individual donors. Since 2014, our list of individual donors has dwindled to about 25. To combat this drop in individual contributions we have placed more emphasis on large corporate and business donors. In 2020, we did not feel it was appropriate to ask for donations from businesses that have been impacted so harshly by the ongoing pandemic. We have received tremendous support from our large corporate donors and the program is doing well. Those who wish to donate generally know where to find us when this time of year comes.
If you are interested in donating, and do not know, donations can be mailed to:
Cass/Beardstown FOP Lodge 296
418 East Main Street
Beardstown, Illinois 62618
If you do not want to mail your donation or wish to donate cash, you can call (217) 323-3131 or (217) 452-7718, and we will arrange for someone to pick up your donation. We spend approximately $100 per child and take around 100 to 120 children each year.
The Shop With a Cop program has grown in recent years, and we feel it is in a good place. We enjoy wonderful, often overwhelming, support from the community. The program has been and will continue to be a cornerstone of holiday giving for many years to come. Thank you, and from our families to yours, we wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The Officers of CASS Beardstown FOP Lodge 296