Making dreams come true

Published 9:17 am Monday, December 12, 2005

By By ERIN VER BERKMOES / Niles Daily Star
NILES - For a group of Niles children Christmas came early as they participated in the annual “Shop with a Cop” program.
Those chosen to participate were given the chance to purchase items for both themselves and family members with the help of Niles City Police officers at the local Wal-Mart Supercenter.
They may not have had as festive of a holiday season, if it weren't for the generosity of Wal-Mart and other area businesses.
Shante, Robert and the other children who were selected to be part of the Shop with a Cop program each received a $100 gift card from Wal-Mart to spend on what ever they wish.
The children, who were between the ages of 3 and 17, also received lunch at Subway, gift certificates and smaller gifts from local businesses.
The three families also were given $100 in groceries as well.
Four children from the Cox family took part in the program on Saturday. Theresa 17, Candita, 15 and Nakita, 14, are all students at Niles Senior High School, while their brother Michael, 12, is a student at Blossomland Learning Center.
The three sisters planned to buy shoes, clothes, CDs and gifts for other family members, while Michael was interested in buying some games.
Matt Sparks, a 17-year-old, Niles High School student was also chosen to take a spin around the store to shop for what he liked.
The Sparks family has fallen on some hard times as Matt's mother is to undergo surgery later this month for a brain tumor, and has been out of work since mid-November and his father is currently out of work.
Matt planned to purchase some video games and movies for himself and then do some shopping for his parents.
Niles City Police officer Kevin Kosten said the Shop with a Cop program really serves two purposes.
Kosten added it's also nice for the officers to participate in the program.
Other Niles police officers shopping with the kids on Saturday were reserve officers Ron Clevenger, Ron Unger and Bruce Croyell.
Other companies besides Wal-Mart providing items for the Niles Shop with a Cop program include Watson's Tree Service, Krueger Septic, Brown Funeral Home and Radio Shack.
First Missionary Church of Niles donated picture frames to hold the photography of the children taken with Santa.