Friday, December 03, 1999

Outpouring saves children's charity

Shop With a Cop lives another year

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — In one day, donors saved Covington's annual Shop With a Cop program for needy kids, giving or pledging more than $5,000.

        It started Wednesday morning with a $1,000 check from a man who insisted on remaining anonymous. He walked into police headquarters, asked for shopping organizer Michelle Robinson and told her he wanted to give her the money.

        She knows very little about him, only that he doesn't even live in Covington.

        “I can't believe the outpouring of support that we got in 24 hours,” Ms. Robinson said. “I really appreciate the fact that there are good people in the world.”

        She got more proof of that Thursday from Toyota — a $2,000 check.

        A story in Wednesday's Enquirer explained the program was in jeopardy. Ms. Robinson had only $100 from a retired police officer as of Tuesday.

        Last year, officers shopped with about 20 kids, spending $150 on each. She intended to wait a few more days before officially canceling this year, but fully expected the shopping would not happen because of the lack of money.

        Other donations and promises of donations followed — a $25 check from a St. Elizabeth nurse; a $100 check in Thursday's mail; and pledges from a variety of individuals and businesses, including BP gas employees, a local lawyer and a bank.

        If all the money comes in, it'll add up to more than the program has ever collected. Officers and Ms. Robinson are discussing whether to help more kids this year with the extra money or stick with the usual 20 children and save the rest of the money to give the program a jump start next year.

        The officers and kids will shop Dec. 20 at Value City and Johnny's Toys, then eat lunch at McDonald's.


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