Community

HCSO Operation Christmas Brings Joy to Community Children at Shop with A Cop

Walmart in Hope was filled with smiles and joy Saturday morning as many local children participated in Shop with a Cop: a component of the Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) Operation Christmas. Close to 130 kids were welcomed, and they got to shop, visit with Santa, and eat treats provided by Walmart. HCSO Deputies, Arkansas State Police, Arkansas Game and Fish, Pafford Medical Services, Hope Police Department, Hope Fire Department, Walmart employees, and the A State Corvette Club members all participated in the event and helped kids pick out items on their Christmas wish list.

“We had a great turnout,” said Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton. “All of this was made possible by the people of Hempstead County. I’m proud to live in a county where people always come through for those who need it.” Sheriff Singleton said Operation Christmas is made possible each year by many fundraisers like fish fries, ATV shows, the Ranch Rodeo at the District Fair, and the yearly day planner. The 2022 day planner was dedicated to the late Jeff Neal, an Arkansas Game and Fish Officer who was always a big part of Shop with a Cop and Operation Christmas.

A-State Corvette Club Member and City Board Director Reginald Easter said he and the members of A State were thrilled to donate and participate in Shop with a Cop Saturday. Club members showed up in their corvettes, which the kids admired greatly, and also helped the children shop for their Christmas items. “We feel it’s important to participate in community activities as much as possible, especially those involving children,” Easter said. “We strive to participate in church, hospital, and law enforcement benefits, as well as car shows, Watchdog programs, and any event that helps those less fortunate. We just want to give back.”

The next step in Operation Christmas will be an event in Bingen this coming Saturday. HCSO partnered with the Bingen Fire Department (BFD) to raise money for and purchase gifts for 31 children from the northern part of Hempstead County. A parade will take place at 4:30 Saturday from the fire department to the Bingen Community Center. At the parade’s conclusion, Santa will pass out gifts to the children at a Christmas Party where families will also be treated to finger foods and other treats.

Stay tuned to SWARK.Today for continuing coverage of community holiday events.

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