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On the morning of Saturday, December 1, 2018, the Caroline County Sheriff's Office had 30 law enforcement officers arrive at Wright's Chapel United Methodist Church ready to greet the 37 children eagerly awaiting them. The wonderful volunteers at WCUMC had prepared and served a delicious pancake breakfast and the children were given the opportunity to sit and have fellowship with the officers and converse with Sheriff Lippa.
After breakfast, Sheriff Lippa explained the program to the parents and children and emphasized several times that the Caroline County Sheriff's Office "cares about you," which is why our officers enjoy participating in this event. Major Moser then explained to the children that at Christmas-time they should be focused on giving as well as receiving. One by one the children were paired with a deputy and then they all were loaded onto school buses, provided by the school transportation department.
Once the buses arrived at Wal-Mart, the children ran into the building ready to spend their $100 Wal-Mart gift card. Some knew exactly what they wanted before entering the store, while others wanted to take the time to make sure they spent their money wisely. The excitement on each child's face was priceless. The deputies aided the children in determining how much they could spend on items and how much money was left. After checking out at Wal-Mart, the children and deputies loaded back onto the buses and headed back to Wright's Chapel. They were met by church volunteers that were there to help wrap gifts..Once they were done wrapping, the children were given the opportunity to shop a full table of generously donated items by "Unmasked," an organization that assists victims of domestic violence and the less fortunate youth. Aside from the dreary day, we had nothing but smiling faces. The Cops 4 Kids Program was started by a citizen's suggestion to have local kids be able to go on a shopping spree with deputies, similar to programs in other localities. This program is now an annual event held by the Caroline County Sheriff's Office and is ran solely on donated funds, and fund-raisers held throughout the year. Sheriff Lippa stated, "It is amazing to see what can be done when the community comes together for the greater good. I was so happy to spend time with these children and hopefully the CCSO and the generous volunteers were able to make this a Christmas that these children will never forget."
This event was made a success by the helping hands in the community. Sheriff Lippa would like to thank Pastor Charles Tillapuagh with Wright's Chapel United Methodist Church for allowing us to use the facility, and to their volunteers for preparing breakfast and helping the children wrap gifts. Thank you to CCPS and the School Board for providing the names of the children in need, Mr. J. D. Satterwhite for providing transportation, and the Unmasked organization for the generous donation of additional gifts. A big thank you to all of our deputies and civilian staff who went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that this was a successful day.