The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

December 15, 2009

Raleigh County officers raise last-minute $5,000 for Shop with a Deputy program

Raleigh County sheriff’s deputies were ready to take more than 100 children shopping last weekend.

But just days before, they discovered about 60 more kids needed their help. Rather than turn children away, they rushed to raise $5,000 in less than a week.

They asked. Businesses and individuals delivered — and delivered.

Last weekend, the Raleigh Deputy Sheriffs Association took more than 200 children through the MacArthur Wal-Mart for its Shop with a Deputy program.

Detective Cpl. J.C. Canaday said each child is given $50 for clothes and $50 for toys. Every fall, schools are sent letters requesting names of children who would benefit from the program the most. Other families call and request help, and some are families deputies meet on the job.

This year, the association budgeted for 150 children, Canaday said. However, a school sent about 60 names at the last minute. Last-minute fundraising for extra money — an estimated $5,000 — kicked into extremely high gear.

“We had to scramble, in less than a week’s time, and raise $5,000,” he said. “Rather than cut kids, we went to several local businesses.”

Numerous businesses and individuals began stepping up to the plate, with some providing significantly large donations.

“The response from these individuals was overwhelming,” he said. “These people were so willing to give, and a lot of them also donate to Mac’s (Toy Fund) or Toys for Tots. This says a lot about the people in our community.”

Even after those funds were raised and the excited children poured into the store, people continued to show their support. Canaday said deputies, who did not openly ask for funds, raised $1,500 over the two days just by setting a coffee can in front of them. Both he and Detective Sgt. Larry Lilly were amazed, given the economic climate.

“One woman put in $50,” Lilly said. “We’re talking about $50 or $100 (from individual donors). That’s major.”

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