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Mason City police officers help put smiles on needy kids’ faces

This news story was published on December 18, 2012.
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Emanuel Family with officer Jeremy Ryal

by Jody Spear and Kelly Meyer –

MASON CITY – The Mason City Police Department made some children very happy with their “Cops for Kids at Christmas” Monday night at Walmart.

Officer Jeremy Ryal informed, “Each child of each family receives $75. They are to spend $50 on clothes and the other $25 can be spent on whatever they want.”

“The money comes from “Unit 18″ of the Mason City Police Department,” said Officer Jason Hugi. “We get the money from fundraisers that we do throughout the year and from local businesses that donate to the cause. Most of the money from the fund goes to this program, about $9000 to $10,000 will be spent. The money all stays in Mason City.”

Two families that were on there way to start their shopping spree, were the Emanuel Family and the Ackerley Family. Each family had five children and they were looking forward to having some fun.

“We were contacted by a Mason City Police Officer,” said the Mom of the Emanuel Family. “They called and asked if we would like to participate in this event. We were more than happy to,” she said with a big smile.

“This is very thoughtful,” said Andrea Ackerley. “It helps so much, especially when we have five children.”

Sharon, a Walmart greeter, said, “This is special, we needed something uplifting like this after the incident that happened in Connecticut Friday. It makes it special for the kids.”

“We have 50 children tonight and we will have 53 tomorrow night,” said Officer Hugi. “We started at 5:30 tonight and will probably get done around 8:00. It’s about a half hour for each family depending on how many children they have. More children takes a little longer.”

The name of the event had to be changed. Most people call it “Shop with a Cop”, but that name is copyrighted, so the Mason City Police Department is calling this Christmas program, “Cops for Kids at Christmas”.

Emanuel Family with Officer Jason Hugi, waiting their turn.

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3 Responses to Mason City police officers help put smiles on needy kids’ faces

  1. Avatar

    Flabersham Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Thia ia such a wonderful tradition by Unit 18!!! WE have a phenomenal police department!!! God bless them all as they protect and serve all of us!! Merry Christmas and may God protect them as they risk their lives for us….

  2. Avatar

    Katie Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    I’m very glad they are raising their own funds now. Fundraising companies take too big a share of the money raised. It makes me willing to give more when I know it goes straight to the kids.

  3. Avatar

    LVS Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Great Job Mason City police.