F.O.P takes kids on back to school shopping spree

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- Members of Bowling Green's Fraternal Order of Police (F.O.P) Lodge #13 are helping kids get ready for the new school year. Their annual back-to-school "shop with a cop" took place Wednesday at Meijer in Bowling Green.

Often, having to purchase everything on your child's school supply list in addition to new clothing is not ideal financially.

"You can't really find good stuff for low prices anymore," says upcoming sixth grader, Billy Wells.

Bowling Green's F.O.P made it possible for 42 kids to get brand new school supplies and clothing. And despite some heavy rain during the evening, this fact gave a lot of families in Bowling Green a big reason to smile.

"It's been a great blessing. Being in and out of work, and having different surgeries, so it's a big help, and it encourages the kids to want to go to school and participate with the cops," says the father of a Warren County student, Kenneth Taylor.

Each child was given $100 to spend on brand new school supplies, clothing and shoes.

"We all dedicated our lives to public service, and this is what we see as public service. We're not on duty, it's on our own time," says F.O.P (Lodge #13) President, Shawn Helbig.

F.O.P members hope to send a positive message to the community by spending time with them without their law enforcement uniforms on.

"It's truly a blessing, to be able to have a community partner that has such a big impact on our community, and allow the students and families some kind of relief," says Seila Helm, Family Resource Program Coordinator at Warren Elementary.

While the ones on the receiving end indicate the way their gratefulness towards this event, the F.O.P reciprocate that feeling.

"The best part that I think of with events like this, is when we get to be closer to the community that we police," says F.O.P (Lodge #13) Vice President, Robert Perry.

The kids who attended Wednesday's event also recognized their service.

"I would like to say thank you," says Wells.

The smiles seen throughout the aisle and along the checkout line were evidence enough of a successful night.

"It's just a really fun event where we get to interact with the kids and everything, and let them see us as people and not just as the police," says Perry.

Helbig says the members of F.O.P have held Shop with a Cop for about a decade now.

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