Columbia County sheriff's deputies are excited to be escorting 25 children on a shopping spree as part of the third annual Day With a Deputy event.
"The deputies enjoy it," said Deputy Eric Snowberger, an event coordinator. "I put the e-mail out the other day and my e-mail and phone have been blowing up with people saying, 'I want to do it again this year.' They love doing it."
Snowberger said deputies will be paired Dec. 19 with 25 underprivileged children recommended by the Columbia County Department of Family and Children Services to assist them with a few hours of shopping for necessities and gifts at the Wal-Mart on Bobby Jones Expressway. Each child between 2 and 17 will receive a gift card.
The event, sponsored by area businesses, offers a chance to help needy children for the holiday season, but it also give the children positive exposure to officers.
"Some of these children may not have had good experiences with law enforcement before," Snowberger said. "It gives us the chance to be that positive law enforcement role model. We want these kids to realize we're not always here to take people to jail and catch bad guys. We're doing other things, too.''
Snowberger said the children are good about purchasing what they need, including clothes for school, but they usually buy gifts for their families and a few goodies for themselves.
Donations were enough to add two more children to this year's list and possibly increase the gift amount from $150 to $175, Snowberger said.
"I've got a pretty good amount of donations here, which is good," Snowberger said. "I'm glad people are out there supporting us with all the other stuff people are asking for money for this year."
For more information or to make a donation, contact Snowberger at 541-3985 or email@example.com.
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