SHOP WITH A COP
COVID–19 brought a change to the Corbin Police Department’s annual, “Shop with a Cop,” but officers, with the aid of several Corbin Walmart Associates, have found a way to make it a merrier Christmas for 31 area children.
Because of the COVID–19 restrictions, the department was unable to hold any fundraisers for the annual event. However, using money left over from previous years, officers were able to help children from 10 homes.
In an effort to social distance, the police obtained the ages, clothing sizes and interests of the children from the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services.
That information was provided to the Walmart associates Lillie Marcus and Wanda Smith, who went shopping last Thursday.
Corporal Steve Meadors, and Officers Lonnie Sawyers, Brentley Patrick and Greg Taylor went to the store to complete the purchase and take the items back to the station.
At approximately 2 p.m. Wednesday, officers delivered the items to the 10 homes.
“This has been a collective effort of the entire department,” Meadors said.
Meadors said officers plan to again host “Shop with a Cop” in 2021, but will have to host fundraisers and/or seek donations in order to do so.
In past years, police and Corbin firefighters have held the, “Battle of the Badges,” charity basketball game.
In addition, police have organized the 5-0 5K race.
Meadors said that it is to be determined as to whether those events will take place in 2021.
Private donations are welcome and may be dropped off at the police department at Corbin City Hall.
More information is available by contacting the department at 528-1122.
It has been a sorrowful holiday season, and, in some cases, year for area residents, but the Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement classes at the Corbin Area Technology Center are trying to help a few people with that by be conducting the class’s sixth annual, “Operation Joy” on Thursday.
Like other classes, instructor Tackett Wilson has been teaching online, meaning the students were not in class to help.
“I wasn’t going to do it, but we had way too many donations not to,” Wilson said adding that some of the students have dropped off items.
Because of the number of donations, Wilson said the classes would be able to give out 75 boxes.
That is the most we have ever done,” Wilson said
“We did 60 last year,” Wilson added.
Wilson, who retired from the Kentucky State Police, said federal, state, county and city law enforcement officers from throughout Whitley, Knox and Laurel counties will be coming to the school Thursday morning to pick up and deliver the food boxes, noting the officers submitted the names of some of the families in need that will receive the help.
The Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement class is an elective in the career pathway for students considering a career in law enforcement.
“The operation teaches our Criminal Justice students that law enforcement plays many different roles in the community,” Wilson said
“We wanted to be able to give back to the community,” Wilson said previously when asked about how the project began.
SOUTHEASTERN KENTUCKY EMPTY STOCKING FUND
Much like other groups, the Southeast Kentucky Empty Stocking Fund, run by the Corbin Rotary Club, will look a bit different this year.
“Unlike what we’ve done in the past, where we have had a party and invited the children and families to go to a movie and have pizza… we are going to give the gifts out directly to the families through a drive-up process,” said Joe Caldwell, Past President of the Corbin Rotary Club and Past District Governor.
The group provides children with a toy, a pair of athletic shoes, socks, candy, and other miscellaneous items.
Caldwell said this year funds are coming in slowly.
The group usually receives funds in three groups: the friends or long-time donors to the fund, new donations or partnerships, and the Rotary International Foundation.
Caldwell said there are some individuals who give every year while some individuals hear about the fund through newspaper articles or another source and contact the club about donating. The Rotary club matches 50 percent of the money given to the fund by the Rotary International Foundation.
This year the fund will serve approximately 130 families, which is down from years past. A list of the children in those families was taken to Walmart who helped shop for the children’s shoes.
This will be the 33rd year that the Empty Stocking Fund has provided gifts to children.
Registered families will be able to pick up the gifts on Dec. 18 at Immanuel Baptist Church. Each family was assigned a number, which can be found on the registration sheet. Families are asked to bring that sheet when they come to pick up the gifts.
This year, gifts will be retrieved through a drive-up process; families will pull into the line and a helper will use the family’s number to retrieve the gifts. Volunteers will bring the gifts to the vehicle, but participants will need to load the gifts into their own vehicles.
THE B SQUAD PROJECT
Though The B Squad’s bed giveaway looks different than in years past, Shannon Barman, B Squad’s president and founder, said COVID actually gave the group the opportunity to function the way she had originally hoped it would.
Each year, The B Squad donates beds to children in need. The beds include the frame, mattress, a bed bug cover, a pillow, sheets and comforter. Normally the beds are only given out at Christmas, but this year The B Squad gave 15 beds away during the Christmas giveaway and have an additional 15 beds to be able to give away throughout the year.
“Usually our B Squad only does the beds at Christmas time, but because of COVID we were having to do front porch deliveries so that we didn’t have everybody all in the same place at the same time,” said Barman. “Because of COVID, it actually opened us up to what I had originally planned for The B Squad to be.”
“With Mountain Outreach they had built us 15 beds so far, so we have 15 more to get,” said Barman. “Mountain Outreach was a huge blessing because at the beginning of the year they were able to secure us enough funds for 30 bed shells.”
The finished beds were delivered this past weekend.
This year The B Squad was able to provide 30 beds compared to the 54 beds they were able to give away last year.
Barman said that all of the groups major fundraising events were cancelled.
“Looking at the bed program at the start, I really did not think it was going to be possible, at all,” said Barman.
Barman said that between the donation from Mountain Outreach and a private donor who helped fulfill the groups Amazon wish list, The B Squad was able to serve the 15 children this past weekend.
The group is still taking donations. To donate, visit the GoFundMe links on the groups Facebook page.