by Lisa Tome
It's better to give than receive.
That's the lesson Chief Chip Peterson and the rest of Rising Sun's police officers hope to spread in time for Christmas.
For the first time ever, the department will host Shop With A Cop. The way Shop With A Cop works is that officers will donate their time to take children shopping at Rising Sun businesses. The children will shop with an officer and purchase gifts for their parents and siblings. Following the shopping, the officers and children will have dinner together. Volunteers will help wrap the gifts.
"The program provides children an opportunity to experience the personal rewards of giving to others," said Peterson. "This is for underprivileged kids in our community. It's for those kids who have not been able to have the feeling you get from giving."
The program got a financial boost last week when the Greater Rising Sun Chamber of Commerce chipped in $250 in seed money. Chamber president Norman Hunter said the chamber's donation will encourage young people to shop locally. He also said this was a good way to reach out to the community.
"This is a great way for the chamber to give back," said chamber vice president Charles Heitz.
Peterson has also sent out letters to local businesses asking for their support. The goal for the first year, will be to provide shopping for 15 children - five each in elementary, middle, and high school. The school system will provide referrals of the names of those who would benefit from this program.
The shopping will occur two weeks before Christmas. Peterson said the emphasis will be on serving children who live in town. All the shopping will be at town businesses. "So far, the response (from donors) has been good. We may go beyond 15 (children). In one day, I got enough to help six kids," said Peterson.
Cash and gift cards to local businesses are needed. Checks made payable to Rising Sun Police Department memo: Shop With A Cop may be sent to P.O. Box 456, Rising Sun, MD 21911.