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Highland Hospital holds Shop with a Cop

Highland Community Hospital’s public safety team took seven local children shopping for Christmas Tuesday at a retailer in Picayune.

Public safety staff raised funds to support the Shop with a Cop initiative in November and December by contributing $25 a month and in return they were allowed to avoid shaving for work, said Highland Community Hospital Precinct Commander Charlie Fazende. Fazende said he also received donations from Picayune residents and Walmart, which he appreciates.

“It’s all about the kids,” said public safety officer Stacy Amacker.

Kids, ranging from infants to teens, picked out baby dolls, toy trucks, and science kits while shopping with their designated law enforcement officer. The children were there to purchase “whatever their little heart desires,” Fazende said.

“I think it really makes me happy and I think it really makes them happy too,” said Fazende.

The hospital found children in need to participate in the program, he said. Parents of those chosen for the program said the event was a blessing, especially with Christmas a week away.

The hardest part of organizing the event was finding a time and date all the parents could go shopping, said Amacker.

The public safety office hopes to take more kids Christmas shopping next year, and already has some funds set aside, Fazende said. Anyone interested in donating to support the event can contact Highland Community Hospital’s public safety department.