Megan Phillips’ husband, Ridge Phillips, is a narcotics detective for the Avery County Sheriff’s Office. Quoting Megan: “I have had the privilege to be a part of Shop with a Cop for 3 years now. It is truly one of the most rewarding traditions I get to experience during the holiday season.
“Being a teacher at Banner Elk Elementary, I get to see the smiles on the kids’ faces when they come into school wearing their new clothes, coats, and boots. Many of these kids don’t ask for much, some ask for a battery-powered toothbrush, pillows, play dough, socks and underwear, things that most of us take for granted every day.”
In addition to helping kids have a Merry Christmas, participating officers also help give children a positive impression of law enforcement personnel as friends and neighbors who care for them. Avery Sheriff Kevin Frye believes the program is good not only for local children but also for his personnel and family members. It is a way they can give back to the community. “It’s our way of showing what Christmas is all about, and that’s the act of giving and doing. We couldn’t do it without the citizens here and our friends that come up in the summertime,” said Frye.
“The children getting to see a different side of law enforcement is so important today. It is so special to get to see them interact with officers in such a fun and supporting way,” Phillips said.
“Being a part of Shop With a Cop and watching the joy on the children’s faces is something that stays with you for a long while,” summarized Phillips.