Neosho and Seneca police departments have started accepting donations for their Shop with a Hero/Shop with a Cop event.
Neosho has combined with the Neosho Fire Department for this year’s event and has changed the name from Shop with a Cop to Shop with a Hero. The Neosho event will take place on Dec. 10 at the Neosho Walmart.
“We ask that everyone meets in the garden center area,” said Lt. Mike Sharp, with the Neosho Police Department (NPD).
Those interested in applying for Neosho’s Shop with a Hero event must fill out an application at the police station.
“Repeat applications go to the bottom of the stack to ensure new applicants have a chance to participate,” said Sharp.
Last year, the NPD was able to assist 38 families, totaling 84 kids. This year they are hoping to be able to help the same amount of kids, if not more.
“We usually have $125 or more for each student that we help and in most cases, we raise enough money that we can help all families,” said Sharp.
Flyers are being sent to businesses that have donated before and individual letters are being sent to people who have donated in the past.
Last year, $13,700 was raised for the kids. The age limit for applicants is 2-16 years of age and they have to be city residents.
“Several schools also help us raise money with competitions like penny wars. All the money raised went to Shop with a Hero last year,” said Sharp.
The NPD has done some fundraisers to help with the startup funds, such as a shrimp broil that raised $700. The fire department also did a chili feed to raise funds.
“This will be the 16th year we have done Shop with a Hero and it’s every exciting to see how many people we can assist,” said Sharp.
Seneca’s Shop with a Cop event will also be held on Dec. 10, at the 15th Street Walmart in Joplin by the Seneca police and fire departments.
“Last year we were able to help 88 kids and we are shooting for the same amount this year,” said James Altic, Seneca police chief.
The first year Seneca held its event was 2012, and they were able to assist 37 students.
There is a new application system set up this year for Seneca applicants.
“This year we will be having everyone go through the Seneca Bright Futures application process and go from there,” said Leticia Sabado, Seneca Bright Futures coordinator.
Parents are also required to attend a 15-minute parent meeting about the application process and well as get information about places to receive extended help or support.
“We sent out letters to everyone who gets a weekly snack pack as well as individuals that the staff know are in need,” said Sabado.
The letter has a series of questions for parents as well as information about the parent meeting.
“We have one meeting planned for the morning and we also have an afternoon meeting planned to accommodate all parents,” said Sabado.
“If you want to make a donation, please contact the Seneca PD,” said Altic.