WILSON’S LOCAL PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNITY INSTITUTION SINCE 1896

Kids’ Christmas wishes granted: 20 area students pick out gifts

Posted 12/15/19

Six-year-old Billy Davis was dressed and ready to go before his foster parent Saturday morning. He was that excited. When it came time to hit the toy aisle, Billy knew exactly what he wanted for …

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Kids’ Christmas wishes granted: 20 area students pick out gifts

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Six-year-old Billy Davis was dressed and ready to go before his foster parent Saturday morning. He was that excited. When it came time to hit the toy aisle, Billy knew exactly what he wanted for Christmas.

“I want a monster truck,” the little boy said with a sly smile.

Billy was one of 20 Wilson County children who experienced a Christmas they will never forget thanks to the annual Shop with a Cop program sponsored by the Wilson Law Enforcement Fellowship. The program raises funds throughout the year to make the special day possible. Each year, school counselors work with officials to select a needy child from each elementary school. And the child gets to spend $150 on anything he or she wants at Walmart.

Wilson Police Sgt. Matt London, who heads the program, said he loves to see the children’s faces light up each year.

“It’s overwhelming,” London said. “Most of these kids wouldn’t get a Christmas without this program.”

London said another goal is for children to interact with law enforcement in a positive way.

“We love Christmas just as much as you do,” London told the children before the shopping spree got started. “Just remember, it doesn’t matter what you see on TV or whatever anybody says to you. If you ever need help, come to us and talk to us. We’re always willing to be able to help you.”

‘GO BIG’

Children couldn’t stop smiling as they browsed each toy aisle with law enforcement officers Saturday. Carts were filled with everything they could have wished for during the holiday season.

As Billy started shopping, he got a little advice from his new friend, Lt. Adam Howell of the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office.

“Don’t go small,” he told the 6-year-old. “Go big.”

And that’s exactly what Billy did. From a large monster truck to a race car track as well as other toys including a four-wheel remote control Jeep, Billy’s dreams came true Saturday morning at Walmart.

Billy’s foster parent, Jackie Hendricks, said the program was a blessing. When she found out he could pick out anything he wanted, she couldn’t believe it.

“It blew my mind,” Hendricks said. “It’s awesome. Santa Claus is all he’s excited about.”

Howell said seeing Billy smile Saturday warmed his spirit.

“It’s about him today,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

Donors who made Saturday possible include Beauty and Best Bowtique, Breen Law Firm, Hubert Vester Auto Group, Thomas and Farris Law Firm, JH Wholesale and Artisan Leaf.

Agencies involved with Shop with a Cop included the Wilson Police Department, Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, Wilson County 911 Communications, Wilson Medical Center, N.C. Highway Patrol and Stantonsburg Police Department.

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