NEW ALBANY, IN (Dec. 19, 2013) – ‘Tis the season to be jolly, and to shop.
On Sunday, Dec. 14, officers from the IU Southeast police department and IU Southeast students volunteered their time to help nine boys and one girl from Grant Line Elementary school shop for Christmas gifts.
To help spread the Christmas cheer, funds were raised with help from the IU Southeast Alumni Association and members of the community to pay for the children’s gifts.
With the donation, the 10 children were able to buy clothes that they needed and – perhaps most exciting of all – new toys to open on Christmas morning.
Kara Hodges, a senior majoring in criminal justice, joined the shoppers on Sunday and said she had a lot of fun helping with the event.
“I really like to shop in the toys,” Hodges said. “I know I’m older but it’s a lot of fun to be able to pick out toys for the kids.”
Even though they had to be at the store at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning, Chelsey Fahey, a senior psychology major, said she was glad to be there helping the families.
“I’m just here doing this for fun,” Fahey said.
Not only did the volunteers enjoy themselves, but the children and parents as well. One mother of five young boys was able to see them all get Christmas presents and clothes.
This was the first year that IU Southeast has participated in the Shop with a Cop event, and Police Chief Charlie Edelen was pleased with the results.
“We got a lot of positive feedback,” Edelen said. “The kids were really excited, and the mother of five was really grateful.”
Other IU Southeast groups, including the men’s basketball team, also participated in Shop with a Cop programs this holiday season.
For students like Hodges, it was a fun way to give back to the community. The five boys Hodges was shopping with didn’t really ask for anything specific, but with the help of their mother they picked out their gifts.
“I really liked being able to help her family,” Hodges said.