Since 1995, Plymouth Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 195 has been conducting their annual Shop With a Cop program in Marshall County.

On Saturday the FOP took 115 kids shopping at the Plymouth Walmart store.  Families were paired with police officers from multiple departments, sheriff’s deputies, DNR officers, Indiana State Police Troopers, firefighters and paramedics and soldiers from the National Guard.

Applications to participate in the program were up this year but for the 3rd years in a row the Shop With a Cop selection committee, which is made up of volunteers and not FOP members decided to take fewer kids shopping and add to the list of senior citizens they will help.  Three years ago committee member Shiloh Fonseca suggested taking some of the money raised and instead of helping the same families over and over year after year using the funds to help some senior citizens.

Plymouth FOP 195 will be helping at least 80 senior citizens this year through Real Service with gift cards for groceries and medication.  They will also help 20 clients from Marshall Starke Development Center who don’t have family members with clothing.

This past Saturday children selected to participate in the Shop With A Cop program were given about $100 to shop with.  About $75 is expected to be used to buy coats, hats, gloves and boots and warm winter clothing including pajamas, sweaters, jeans and underwear.  Once the children’s clothing was picked out the kids and their shopping partners headed to the toy isle where the kids were able to select a toy for Christmas.

FOP member John Weir said, “I’m always amazed at the number of kids that ask to purchase something for their parents.  These kids get the idea of giving and receiving and are so appreciate.”

Treasurer of FOP 195, Ralph Campion said, “We live in a fantastically giving community.”

President of the FOP, Hursher Hunter said, “We work with the other organizations in the county to try and avoid double dipping.  There are so many in need, we want to make sure that as many children in our area have a chance to have a happy holiday season as possible.”