(Posted Dec. 26, 2019)
By Dedra Cordle, Staff Writer
More than two dozen children and young adults from the West Jefferson community were chosen to participate in the annual “Heroes and Helpers” program, formerly known as “Shop with a Cop,” on Dec. 14.
For more than an hour, they browsed the aisles and braved the crowds at the Target store on Hilliard-Rome Road on the west side of Columbus. With the help of members of the West Jefferson Police Department, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio State Highway Patrol and Jefferson Township Fire Department, they looked for the perfect gifts for their families and themselves.
After filling their carts, the participants were whisked away to the West Jefferson Community Center where they were treated to pizza and cookies and help with wrapping presents.
Organizer Paula Martin-Hay said the mission of the program is to give deserving children in grades K-12 the opportunity to bond with first responders and celebrate the giving spirit of the holiday.
Sponsors of this year’s “Heroes and Helpers” program included: Coughlin Automotive, Target Corp., Tidd Family Funeral Services, Liberty Freight, Restoration Hardware, Madison County Shrine Club, Ohio Troopers Caring Inc. (Ohio State Highway Patrol), village residents, and the West Jefferson Police Department, West Jefferson Mayor Ray Martin and council member Jim King (No-Shave November donations).