A group of eight Kentucky State Police troopers filled the Richmond Walmart on Saturday morning, but not because a crime had been committed.
The troopers were there to participate in the 2009 edition of state police Post 7’s “Shop With a Trooper” event, which gives disadvantaged children living in the Post 7 service area the opportunity to buy Christmas gifts for themselves and their families.
Each of the 54 children from the 11 counties Post 7 covers received a free picture with Santa Claus before getting the opportunity to shop with a trooper, dispatcher or one of the other volunteers on hand, said Greg Crockett with the state police.
Through charitable donations from individuals, Walmart and troopers, each child had a $100 budget to spend on toys, clothes and other items, Crockett said.
Trooper Robert Purdy was a first-time participant, and said the event was a positive experience for him and his wife, who joined him at the event.
“It’s very rewarding to be able to see a positive impact that we can have on the younger generations,” Purdy said. “We try to supply some of the needs they have.”
“It’s a good thing we can share together,” he said.
Popular items at the event included bicycles, toy cars, clothing, shoes and dolls. Several shoppers in the store also made contributions to the program while the children were shopping as well.
After the event, participants were being treated to lunch donated by the Richmond Chick-fil-a restaurant, Crockett said.
By Brian Smith