AURORA, Ind. (Dec. 30, 2021) — At first, the children were shy and perhaps afraid. But they soon warmed up to the 80 police officers and volunteers who accompanied them as they picked out clothing and gifts as part of the annual Cops and Kids shopping trip.
United Way of Greater Cincinnati provided $2,500 to help support the event, held Dec. 4 at Wal-Mart in Aurora, Indiana. Nearly 300 children from Dearborn and Ohio counties participated that day, and another 36 shopped after that. The total spent was $41,116.60.
“We see the smiles on their faces, as they love the attention we show them, that we talk with them about things that make them happy,” said Pam Taylor. She’s a Greendale police officer and secretary/treasurer of Laughery Valley Fraternal Order of Police No. 146, which has organized the event for more than 30 years.
Kimberly Elliott and Breanna Upton of Southeastern Indiana Economic Opportunity Corporation (a United Way partner agency) served as liaisons with local schools to obtain children’s names and conduct interviews with families to determine need. Support for the program comes from residents and organizations, including Dearborn Community Foundation and Ohio County Community Foundation.
“The children leave Wal-Mart that day, we hope, with a feeling of trust and safety when they look at law enforcement,” Taylor said. “Our program goal is to provide clothing and essentials to these families that are in need; however, our larger commitment is to build a positive relationship with them that we hope stays with them as they grow.”