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The Coatesville I Know

12/12/2015

parade

Something amazing happened today. 

I have lived in Coatesville for 13 years.  I’ve heard ALL the bad, dealt with the comments and questions.  Those of us who live here invariably say – to those who do NOT live here – “it’s not nearly as bad as you think it is.”

Last night, the Chester County Half Marathon Vice President (West Caln Chief of Police Curt Martinez) told me about an event he was participating in today.  “Tomorrow morning, we have all the kids meet at Church on 3rd avenue, then we do a parade up to Walmart for Shop With a Cop.” 

I’m like, “Shop with a Cop?  What are you talking about?  Explain.”

I have lived here, in Coatesville, for THIRTEEN YEARS and I have NEVER heard of this. 

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The Basics:

  • approximately 100 children from Coatesville are selected
  • they board 2 buses, donated by Krapf’s, for transportation to Walmart
  • Officers from local municipalities escort the buses, in parade fashion, from 3rd Avenue to Walmart
  • children are paired with a local officer
  • At Walmart, the children buy gifts from their wish lists and for their family members 

This is AMAZING.  How is it that Coatesville only makes the news for strife, hardship or crime?  I feel as though the POSITIVE things in our community are overlooked, forgotten, or seemingly unimportant.  13 years in this community, and it takes a participant to raise my awareness?  Shame on the media!

From the Coatesville Police Department website:

The purpose of the event is to foster positive relationships between youth and police officers. Young elementary aged children of misfortune, are selected each year, on a referral basis, to shop at Walmart to purchase gifts for themselves and their family. Each child is given a set amount of money to spend, and each child is assigned to a police officer, who then escorts them around the store and assists in selecting appropriate gifts to purchase. After shopping, the children are treated to a catered lunch party, have their gifts wrapped, and enjoy the experience of a lifetime – See more at: http://www.coatesville.org/police-department/programs-and-initiatives#sthash.LloG1YIU.dpuf

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RECAP: at 9:30 this morning, 2 school buses departed downtown Coatesville along with police officers from West Caln Township, Coatesville, Valley Township, Sadsbury, Caln, East Fallowfield, and the PA State Police.  The procession traveled to the Parkesburg Walmart, where the children enjoyed shopping for themselves and their loved ones with their assigned officers.

Kudos to these officers for caring for our local children!  Little known fact: if the child “goes over” their monetary allotment, their assigned officer makes up the difference with his or her own funds.  It’s an unspoken parameter of “Shop with a Cop.”  No one asks these officers, or expects them, to give back to the community in this fashion.  Imagine!  100 local children are given a Christmas they would not have had otherwise. 

I personally would like to offer a heartfelt “THANK YOU!” to those involved.  What you are doing is nothing short of amazing; giving these children a Christmas they may not have had otherwise.  THIS IS THE COATESVILLE I KNOW. 

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There is a difference being made in this community.  Don’t be silent about the positivity!

One response to “The Coatesville I Know”

  1. I’m so glad you wrote about this! You are right, the Coatesville community is so much more than what is seen and heard in the news. Did you know that over a hundred employees at Witmer Public Safety Group donate $2 every week out of their paychecks (with a payoff of wearing jeans to work on Fridays) to fund this event? Our community is strong, and loving, and caring, and so much more than what can be seen from the outside. 🙂

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