Thanks to the support of many local businesses the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) was able to help 33 less than fortunate youngsters have Christmas.
The patrol had several fund raising events leading up to the Dec. 14 Shop with a Trooper program.
There was a charity basketball game that was played at Minford High School that pitted Marshall’s Thundering Herd against Troopers from local Post 73 and the Shawnee State girls volleyball team hosted several fund raising events, and many other sponsors made donations.
OSHP Sergeant John Howard said the Shawnee State womens volleyball team not only did fund raising, but they also teamed up with troopers to help the children shop.
The Valley High School girls basketball team wanted to participate in the program and the girls picked names of those children that were to go shopping.
The girls bought individual gifts for all of the 33 children and they were given out by Santa Claus at K-mart.
“The program is only as successful as the support made by our community,” Howard said. “We would like to give a special thanks to all those who made this year a success. One of the parents of three children stopped to give a special thanks to troopers and stated ‘I don’t know what we would have done if you guys had not done this for us.’ The shopping for the children was as the sponsorship done at both Scioto Shoe Mart and K-mart.
“Everything is not about making money and Scioto Shoe Mart wants to do their part in helping,” Tom Selby, of Scioto Shoe Mart, said.
Selby said the store was able to help nearly 300 kids this year through both state and local programs, including church sponsorship and the “Shop with a Trooper” program.
“We want everyone to know we use much diligence to ensure the integrity of the program,” Howard said. “The children are picked by school guidance counselors who pick the children that clearly do not have some of their most basic needs met -Kids that do not come to school with a decent pair of shoes or a winter coat. Our hope is to see the program continue to grow so we will be able to help more children next year.”
Lieutenant Mike Gore, Post 73 commander, said, there are not many more fulfilling things that can be done in our community than to meet some of the most basic needs of children and put smiles on their faces.
If anyone in the community would like to sponsor the program, they may contact Sgt. Howard at 740-354-2888.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.