Valdosta public safety personnel to give youth a happier holiday with shopping events

COVID-19 restrictions in place for events

Valdosta public safety personnel to give youth a happier holiday with shopping events

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - The Valdosta police and fire departments will brighten the holiday season for a group of kids in the community.

The annual Shop with a Firefighter event will happen on Dec. 15. Shop with a Cop takes place on Dec. 21.

Because of the pandemic, things are going to be a little different, starting with donations. Money is being collected. It can be dropped off at the Valdosta Police Department or Valdosta Fire Department.

A past Valdosta Police Department Shop with A Cop event.
A past Valdosta Police Department Shop with A Cop event. (Source: WALB)

Police Chief Leslie Manahan said this program is a great opportunity for officers to interact with children in the community and take them shopping, buy gifts that they’ll normally not be able to have.

”As a police officer, being able to do that and spend the time with the children, as you see, it brings a smile to my face just thinking about it. It’s so much fun and it’s a great thing for our community,” said Manahan.

The program focuses on providing for youth with financial needs. Children nominated must live and attend school in the City of Valdosta.

A police officer, firefighter, teacher or school principal must nominate them.

The fire department’s program also seeks to identify and help Valdosta youth who are survivors of house fires.

Because of COVID restrictions, Manahan said, unfortunately, there will be less children participating this year.

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