Macon police organization buys school supplies for children in need

hgoodridge@macon.comJuly 30, 2013 

The annual Shop with a Cop event, sponsored by the Macon Fraternal Order of Police, was held Tuesday at Wal-Mart on Harrison Road in Macon. Video by Harold Goodridge/hgoodridge@macon.com

Nine-year-old Abby Mimbs knew exactly what school item she wanted to get first.

She made a dash for the bookbags Tuesday evening at Wal-Mart on Harrison Road and grabbed the one covered with pictures of her favorite boy band, One Direction.

She loaded up on other supplies, paper, pencils, some clothes -- about $60 worth.

Abby wouldn’t have been able to get the supplies without the help of Macon police.

Tuesday was the annual Shop with a Cop program sponsored by the Macon Fraternal Order of Police.

They purchased school supplies for about 80 children in need.

The front of the Wal-Mart was crowded with officers who escorted the families through the store as they shopped.

“I think it’s wonderful,” said Sherry Mixon, Abby’s grandmother who brought her to the event. “It helps her momma and daddy out a lot, especially on their limited incomes.”

Dairien Bell brought her two children to the event.

“We weren’t going to be able to get anything this year,” she said. “This is a blessing. Without this we wouldn’t be able to get anything.”

Bell said there was a mixup with her husband’s Social Security check, leaving the family without much needed funds.

Macon police officer Santel Smith, who was shopping with Abby and Mixon, has been participating in the Shop with a Cop program for the last three years.

“I love it,” he said. “Kids are my passion. I truly believe in shaping kids.

“I want them to run to us and not away from us,” Smith said. “That’s a big problem here in Macon.”

Macon police Lt. Danny Thigpin, an organizer of the event, said this was their 14th year.

“For $60 to $70 it gives them enough money to buy all the paper, pencils, pens they need, some blue jeans, some shoes,” he said.

Thigpin said they’ll be helping about 30 to 35 families in Milledgeville and the same amount in Perry.

The families aren’t bashful about telling him how much they appreciate the help.

“They hug your neck, the kids will hug you around the leg,” he said smiling. “Sometimes they’ll even show you the holes in their shoes and show you their new ones.”

To contact writer Harold Goodridge, call 744-4382.

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