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Beline Obeid
December 05, 2013
THE GROSSE POINTES AND HARPER WOODS — Participation in next week’s Shop With a Cop gift-giving campaign for special needs children is expected to more than double last year’s.

“I have 52 children registered, which is about 30 more than last year,” said Grosse Pointe Farms Public Safety Officer Veronica Cashion, coordinator of the event at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 13.

Shop With a Cop teams special needs children from the Grosse Pointes and Harper Woods with law enforcement officers on a free shopping trip to the Target department store at Eastland Center.

Last year, each child received a $100 Target gift card thanks to the department store and numerous sponsors, including the main organizer, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 102.

Officers volunteer their time.

So many children are signing up for this year’s spree that lodge president, Officer Joe Adams of City of Grosse Pointe public safety, is calling in reinforcements.

“We want to pair off one officer with each child,” Adams said. “We can only get so many officers from this area because of work schedules. I’m reaching out to my friends from area departments.”

Police from Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flat Rock, Milford, Warren, Wayne County and Woodhaven are answering the call, Adams said.

A free luncheon for children and adults at Farms Pier Park follows the shopping trip. Food is donated by the Detroit BBQ Company, Adams said.

“Trinity Transportation is supplying a 71-passenger bus to help with picking up the students,” Cashion said. “So far, Target is supplying half of the gift cards.”

Cashion, a former Harper Woods officer, is in her second year with the Farms.

She inaugurated Shop With a Cop last year in the Pointes.

Many children last year spent most of their gift cards buying presents for family members.

“It’s awesome to see,” Cashion said. “I gave a $100 gift card to a kid to spend on whatever he wanted. I remember him looking at me saying, ‘I’m going to get my mom this and my dad this.’”

There’s still time for children and volunteers to sign up by contacting Cashion through e-mail at vcashion@gpfdps.com.

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