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Alpharetta Police Officer Jamie Fraser helps Taylor Bird pick out toys for Christmas at last year's event. JONATHAN COPSEY/Archive. (click for larger version)
December 11, 2013
ALPHARETTA, GA – The Alpharetta Police Athletic League (PAL) sponsored the annual "Shop with a Cop" event on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

Once again, the Walmart at 5200 Windward Parkway agreed to host this heart-warming event.

Last year, "Shop with a Cop" 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.

"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."

Again this year, 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, families in need may go to the Alpharetta Presbyterian Church on Saturday, Dec. 14 to have breakfast with Santa, have pictures taken and pick up a basket of food items.

For more information about Alpharetta PAL or how to volunteer for "Shop with a Cop," contact either Veronica Carew, PAL executive director, via email at veronica@alphapal.org or by calling 678-297-6212 or Ritchey at pritchey@alpharetta.ga.us or by phone at 678-297-6309, option 1.

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