Cops shop with kids

Published 10:58 pm Friday, December 14, 2012

Officer Sherry Fellers helps Calvin Williams, 10, choose a model of the human body while his cousin, Laila Knight, 8, looks on. The kids were participating in a Fraternal Order of Police program that helped them purchase Christmas gifts for themselves and family members.

Calvin Williams and Laila Knight chose their purchases carefully.

Laila, 8, was hoping for a Hello Kitty sheet set and comforter. But the comforters were sold out, so she went with a Minnie Mouse set instead, complete with drapes.

Calvin, her 10-year-old cousin, got pajamas, a Nerf gun and a model of the human body with squishy, removable organs.

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“I want to be a doctor,” he said, placing the toy model in his cart.

“I want to be a pharmacist,” Laila pipes up. They smile at the suggestion that they could go into business together.

Calvin and Laila were two of 23 kids who participated in the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 41’s “FOP Cops and Kids” day on Friday. Volunteer Suffolk police officers and sheriff’s deputies showed up at the North Main Street Walmart to help the kids shop for Christmas gifts for themselves and family members.

“I just want to show them that I care,” said Officer Sherry Fellers, who helped Calvin and Laila find the right size of Angry Bird pajamas for him and pajamas with peace signs for her.

The participating families are recommended through Social Services, Western Tidewater Community Services Board and other organizations familiar with the families’ situations.

Each child got a budget of $100, which was funded by the FOP lodge. The organization uses a professional solicitor and kicks in some of its own donations, said its president, retired Suffolk Police Lt. Allan Iversen.

“It’s going back to the community,” he said.

The organization also planned to spend between $1,000 and $1,500 on food baskets for nearly 30 families, which will be delivered next week.

This is the third year for the Cops and Kids program and the 15th year for the food baskets.

“It’s getting bigger,” Iversen said. “There’s more need out there, and we don’t have unlimited funds, but we’re going to try.”