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Bless your heart to the ECU football team. You played with the fundamentals that I spoke of earlier, and you won. Keep...

Police, youth hit the racks

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Officer Suggs helps children pick out back to school clothes during the 10th annual Shop with a Cop at Greenville Mall on Aug. 12, 2017. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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By Sharieka Botex
The Daily Reflector

Sunday, August 13, 2017

A back-to-school shopping spree paired children and law enforcement officers together on Saturday for an opportunity to strengthen relationships, provide education on budgeting and prepare for school.

The Greenville Noon Rotary Club partnered with Greenville Police Department to purchase school clothes, including socks, shoes, undergarments, shorts, pants, tops and jackets, for children in need. The event, held at 7 a.m. on Saturday at JCPenney in the Greenville Mall, was the 10th “Shop with a Cop.”

Shop with a Cop was organized to help underprivileged youth prepare for the upcoming school year, build their relationships with officers and educate them on budgeting, according to Wade Scales, president of the Noon Rotary Club.

The event touched on two of Rotary International’s six strategic causes: support mothers and children, and promote education, former Noon Rotary Club president Stephen Walsh said.

With a budget of about $4,000, the shopping spree funded back-to-school shopping for about 30 elementary to middle school age children selected from the Greenville Police Athletic League program, according to Grayson Rattew, community service director for Noon Rotary. Each shopper had about $133 to spend.

“Through our partnership with JCPenney, they offer all sorts of discounts and savings for the group,” Rattew said. “Generally, our budget for each child is met or surpassed each year by the rebates and discounts they offer, so really every child gets close to $300 in school threads and materials.”

Each year, between 10 and 20 officers and Noon Rotarian members volunteer for the event. Following the shopping spree, the children are treated to breakfast, courtesy of Chick-fil-A.

Scales said the organization raises money throughout the year for Shop with a Cop, The Rotary Foundation and other causes. A third of money raised goes to Rotary International projects, and a third goes to polio eradication, Scales said. Another third returns to club three years later for service projects, such as Shop with a Cop.

Scales said this year’s Shop with a Cop was funded by the local club’s efforts with the foundation in 2014. 

Contact Sharieka Botex at 252-329-9567 and sbotex@reflector.com. Follow her on Twitter @ShariekaB. 

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