SHOP WITH A COP: Southport officers give gifts to families in need

SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — Santa’s helpers don’t always wear red, they also wear blue.

The Southport Police Department has found a way to keep their annual event Shop with a Cop alive despite the pandemic.

Instead of taking the kids shopping this year, they purchased the gifts in advance and had families stop by the station to pick them up.

Chief Todd Coring says while they miss the interaction with the kids they’re making the most out of a tough situation.

“Just putting some of the packages together has been fun for us,” Chief Coring said. “We hate that we miss seeing the kids, you know physically shopping with them like we have in the past, but uh we enjoyed going out shopping for them and then uh seeing parents and speaking with them seeing the relief on their face and being able to give back during such a difficult year.”

It’s a gesture that draws the tightknit community even closer. They provide each and every family that needs it a little holiday help. Those presents turn into heartwarming smiles under the Christmas tree.

“This is something that they’ve been doing for a long time and the communities been very supportive of it,” says Southport resident Wendy Long. “The past couple years I’ve needed some help with Christmas time, especially this year. It’s such a blessing to know that the community will come together and donate. The police department gets together, the city gets together and makes sure the kids are getting a chance to celebrate Christmas.”

The gifts will surely bring smiles to children’s faces all across Southport, but it also brings a sense of joy to the police officers themselves.

“We always see people in their worst times a lot of time as law enforcement and certainly first responders,” Coring says. “So, this gives us time to kind of relax and look back on you know the family side of what we do. We are giving back to families we usually see in crisis. We’re able to put a smile on their face and it’s a relief because it has been a tough year.”

The Southport Police Department says this years event wouldn’t have been possible without their fantastic donors.

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