Shop With a Cop Tradition to continue with ACAF
(Sept. 2019) Founded in 1992 by Steve Havey, then manager of the Wellsville Kmart store, the local Shop With a Cop program was a popular holiday tradition, brightening the season for disadvantaged children while giving them a positive interaction with law enforcement. In fact, Havey notes, “through the 26 years that Shop With A Cop was a physical presence at Christmas time, over 2500 at-risk kids had the experience of a better Christmas and a new friend in uniform.”
The effort enjoyed community support that Havey describes as inspirational, with participation from virtually all Allegany County police agencies and numerous volunteers, and regular donations-including those from the Allegany County Deputy Sheriffs’ Beards for Bucks program.
With Kmart’s closing ending the program as it had been functioning, Havey recalls, “The Shop With a Cop committee looked at the various options available to us to continue the mission and the Allegany County Area Foundation checked all our boxes. If we cannot physically run the program, this is a wonderful alternative.”
Through the Foundation, the committee has used its remaining resources to create the Wellsville Shop With a Cop Fund. This will provide at least one annual holiday season grant to an Allegany County organization for programing to help disadvantaged kids. The fund can continue to receive donations through ACAF, and as it grows grants will increase in number and/or in size.
The first grant will be made late this fall. Interested organizations should contact ACAF at email@example.com or 585-296-5616.