Donations are down for the Harrisburg Fraternal Order of Police Shop With a Cop, though police are confident they will pick up. Typically in the final week of fundraising the checks begin arriving in a flurry.
But those wanting to aid the cause should not wait too late as the big event is less than two weeks away.
At 7 a.m. Dec. 14 families will begin arriving at the Town and Country Lions Club for breakfast and then will commence the shopping spree. Harrisburg Police, other area law enforcement and volunteers take Harrisburg and Galatia kids to Harrisburg Walmart starting at 8 a.m. and then Eldorado and Carrier Mills kids at 10 a.m.
"Our primary goal is to buy really necessary winter clothes and things like that and then we target toys and things of that nature," Harrisburg Officer Nathan Moore said, organizer of the event for about six years.
His motivation is smiles.
"After the preceding two months of getting everything ready it's satisfying to meet with the kids and put a smile on their face, to see things their able to get they would not be able to get otherwise. The day in itself is definitely worth the trouble of getting the event together," Moore said.
The FOP mailed out letters to regular donors the first week of November.
"We're still hoping to get some more in. Right now we definitely don't have money to shop for all the kids we usually do," Moore said.
In an average year the FOP spends — depending on age — $75 to $100 a child and shops for 250 to 300 kids.
Those wanting to donate may send a check made out to Harrisburg FOP with "Shop With a Cop" in the comment line to Harrisburg FOP Lodge 152, P.O. Box 152, Harrisburg, Illinois 62946.