EATON — Thirty-three children from 12 families were treated to a brighter Christmas this year thanks to the Fraternal Order of Police Floyd E. Spitler Lodge’s annual Cops & Kids event.
Law enforcement officials from around Preble County came together to volunteer and shop with the families at the Eaton Walmart on Tuesday, Dec. 7.
According to FOP representative and Preble County Sheriff’s Major Brad Moore, the families selected to participate have fallen on hard times due to lost jobs and other circumstances.
“We’ve got some of them that are victims of crimes, some of them that have been displaced because they lost their jobs and they moved in with other family members over here and started school. So, they ended up here and they’re struggling trying to get on their feet a little bit,” Moore said. “There’s a lot of people in need right now.”
“I know everybody says, ‘well there’s you know, jobs everywhere’ and everything like that, but you know, what people say and what reality is, is usually two different things unfortunately,” he added.
Donations to Cops & Kids were up this year, according to Moore. “Which really tells you something about the community and the businesses and everybody. Donations were up, which allowed us to take 33 kids. Usually, we average about 25 each year, so we’re up about eight kids.”
Approximately $170 was spent on each child. Eaton Dairy Queen provided the families a free meal after the shopping excursion.
The Cops & Kids event helps families from all over the Preble County community. The selected families go shopping with FOP members for all the necessities: jackets, clothes, shoes, socks, and any other clothing items they are in dire need of. With any remaining funds, they may purchase gifts for their family.
All the gifts purchased during the event are made possible by the members of the FOP and donations from citizens and businesses throughout Preble County. Over the last 10 years, Cops & Kids has helped over 250 children throughout the county have a merry Christmas.
Volunteers from the PCSO, Eaton Police Department, and West Alexandria Police Department helped the children during the evening.
“Volunteer numbers are way up this year,” Moore said. “I probably have 30 percent more here than what I’ve had in years past.”
One hundred percent of the donations received go to that shopping event, which in turn determines how many children and their families can be helped each year.
Anyone interested in donating to the 2022 Cops & Kids event can make donations to Cops & Kids, P.O. Box 602, Eaton, OH 45320.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr.