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Cape’s ‘Shop with a Cop’ program accepting applicants

By Staff | Nov 13, 2015

The Cape Coral Police Department is taking applications for its 13th annual Shop with a Cop.

Sponsored by the CCPD’s “Do The Right Thing” program, it enables Cape police officers to spend positive one-on-one time with Cape children whose families are having financial issues. The goal is to reach at-risk youth and provide them with a chance to holiday shop for themselves and their family.

“The Do The Right Thing program reinforces the idea of sharing and giving and promotes the idea that role models of all ages are crucial to the development of our youths,” Anella “Joy” Nyack, community outreach projects coordinator for the CCPD, said “You just want a positive interaction with the officer.”

“They are so used to seeing negative situations,” she continued. “The one-on-one time that the student experiences with the officer during the event is a memorable one.”

Each year, the CCPD chooses 35 to 40 students to participate in the program. The youth are picked up by police escorts and taken to breakfast, before heading to Walmart to go shopping with a gift card.

“Some of them are really quick and know exactly what they want,” Nyack said. “Sometimes, some of them take longer.”

The students receive $50 to spend on themselves, as well as $20 for every adult and sibling over the age of 8 in the household. Siblings ages 1 to 7 are allotted $15, while $10 are set aside for infants.

Culligan has chosen to be the sponsor for this year’s program.

After shopping at Walmart, the participants and officers head to the Cape Coral Police Department, where they will wrap the presents. They then get to watch a movie and enjoy pizza and dessert.

Afterward, the students are escorted home by the officers.

Last year, the department selected 40 children out of approximately 100 applications.

“This year, I’m looking to choose 40 again,” Nyack said.

As of Thursday, the CCPD had received more than 40 applications.

“We have definitely grown in the number of applications we have received,” she said.

The children not picked are submitted for the CCPD’s Fill-the-Boat program.

The 9th annual Fill-the-Boat will take place from Dec. 18-20.

To qualify for Shop with a Cop, the child:

* Must be available Dec. 21 to go shopping

* Must be in kindergarten through 12th grade

* Must live in Cape Coral with their family

* Must be eligible for “free lunch” at school

To nominate a child, an application packet can be picked up from lobby of the Cape Coral Police Department, at the Cape Coral Caring Center or from the child’s school and then submitted.

The forms can also be found online at: www.capecops.com.

The deadline to apply is Nov. 17; the chosen families will be notified by Nov. 25.

The Cape Coral Police Department is at 1100 Cultural Park Blvd.

The Cape Coral Caring Center is at 4645 S.E. 15th Ave.

For more information on Shop with a Cop, contact the CCPD at (239) 242-3342.