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The annual Shop with a Cop event pairs needy children with public safety members to buy holiday presents for their families. JONATHAN COPSEY. (click for larger version)
November 27, 2012
ALPHARETTA, Ga. – The Alpharetta Police Athletic League (PAL) will sponsor the 14th Annual "Shop with a Cop" event on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. Once again, the Walmart at 5200 Windward Parkway has agreed to host this heart-warming event.

Last year's event was a huge success and it would not have been possible without the generous donations received, said Officer Phil Ritchey, the Alpharetta Special Services Unit youth officer. This year, PAL plans to help at least 100 children. Each child will be accompanied by a police officer, firefighter or community volunteer as he or she shops for Christmas gifts for their families.

"Throughout the year, representatives of the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety come across families who, for whatever reason, face financial challenges," said Ritchey. "These financial challenges often carry into the holiday season and impact their ability to buy gifts for their children."

Each child will be able to spend up to $100. Although this allotment is theirs to spend on items for themselves, these children often elect to spend some of the money on gifts for their parents or siblings. As part of the Shop with a Cop program, PAL will deliver holiday meals to the neediest of families on Saturday, Dec. 15. Donation boxes for canned foods will be placed in all city of Alpharetta public buildings and fire stations.

For more information about Alpharetta PAL or how to volunteer for Shop with a Cop or holiday meal deliveries, contact either Veronica Carew, PAL executive director, at veronica@alphapal.org or call 678-297-6212 or Officer Phil Ritchey at pritchey@alpharetta.ga.us or by phone at 678-297-6309, option No. 1.

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