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Spreading the joy with toys; kids shop with a cop

Cops leaves smiling faces for several children with annual event

Fraternal Order of Police hold annual "Shop with Law Enforcement" event that gives children early Christmas.
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Fraternal Order of Police hold annual "Shop with Law Enforcement" event that gives children early Christmas.

The two fifth-grade siblings had their minds made up.

There in the garden-side lobby at Wal-Mart on Harrison Road, Jyqavon and Jykivia Owens waited in line with their mother Monday evening.

Jyqavon, 11, wanted a guitar. Jykivia, 10, wanted “two mannequin heads because I like to do their hair,” she said.

But with dozens of shelves of toys to choose from, other things caught their eyes.

The siblings were among more than 75 children who went to the store for the annual “shop with law enforcement” event organized by the Fraternal Order of Police. The FOP identifies families with children in need to invite for the event.

The Owens family walked through the toy aisles with Bibb County sheriff’s deputy Amber Giltz. The kids were allowed to pick out up to $70 worth of toys.

Jyqavon picked out a Nerf brand dart gun. Later, he saw some Batman Legos he wanted, but the dart gun was so expensive that he couldn’t get both.

Giltz helped him find a more affordable dart gun, and Jyqavon got both.

Jykivia picked out a baby doll, stroller and other accessories.

With a few dollars remaining, Jyqavon picked up Candy Land the board game.

“This is nice,” he said.

“I’d rather for y’all to have Candy Land, because that brings back my childhood,” 31-year-old Natashi Owens said to her son.

Owens, who works at Nu-Way in Macon’s Bloomfield neighborhood, said it’s her kids third year shopping with a cop during the holidays.

“I love Christmas because it brings the family together,” Owens said. “I’m going to see my mom, my two kids. I work hard every day. It helps out a whole lot.”

Retired Lt. Danny Thigpin said another event is set for Tuesday night at the Wal-Mart in Perry.

Laura Corley: 478-744-4334, @Lauraecor

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