Benefitting youngsters from every police precinct in Baltimore County
Shop with a Cop was developed to help make the holidays brighter for disadvantaged youngsters in Baltimore County. It is made possible by the cooperation of the Baltimore County Police Department and Optimist Clubs in the north county area. The Timonium Optimist Club was the first to participate and still takes the lead in coordinating the event and supervising the all-important raising of funds. Donations are sought from businesses, organizations and individuals.
Key corporate sponsors are the Cockeysville Walmart and Outback Steak House in Hunt Valley, which contribute financially and provide volunteer workers on shopping day. Walmart is the site of the shopping expedition. Outback Steak House provides a free breakfast for kids, police officers and volunteers afterwards. Optimist volunteers greet the police and children outside the store and help inside to make their experience run smoothly.
There is no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to help with Shop with a Cop!
Last year’s event: Sat., Dec. 11, 2016*
Number of children: 108
Police and children to arrived around 8:15 a.m.; volunteers were there by 7:45 a.m.
Amount raised: more than $11,000
See photos on the Timonium Optimist Facebook page!
How to Contribute:
The Optimists need to raise in excess of $10,000 each year to support this program
- Make your check payable to Timonium Optimist Foundation
- Designate it for “Shop with a Cop” in the memo field.
- Mail it to:
Timonium Optimist Foundation
P.O. Box 262
Timonium, MD 21094
(Donations are tax deductible. Consult your tax advisor.)
*A note about SWAC 2016:
The weather–crispy cold and sunny–cooperated for a beautiful, exciting day. We provided the opportunity for 108 youngsters to pair off with a police officer and shop at the Walmart Supercenter on Sat., Dec. 11th. Each child was allotted $100. As usual, they had a memorable time—from the lights-and-sirens parade up I-83 through the post-shopping breakfast provided by Outback Steakhouse. Most of the children bought presents for family members as well as themselves. In fact, some had to be persuaded to include a gift of their own. The event not only brightened the holidays for the children and their families (not to mention the volunteers) but also built rapport between the youngsters and police officers.
Band member volunteers from Dulaney High School once again added to the festive atmosphere by playing holiday tunes at the store, and Walmart staff provided snacks and beverages to sustain the shoppers. Santa’s chief elf was on hand to greet everyone. Afterwards, Outback hosted kids, cops and volunteers for a breakfast celebration. During breakfast, members of Zeta Tau Alpha sorrority and the Towson University Optimist Club wrapped the gifts the kids had purchased. The event ended with a big group photo out front.