JEFFERSON — On Monday, Dec. 21, 12 local children had an opportunity to load up shopping carts at Walmart to make their holiday a little brighter. As part of the annual Christmas with Cops event, the children, all chosen by school counselors in Ashe County, were given Walmart gift cards and were immediately teamed up with local law enforcement officers who helped them shop for gifts and keep track of their budget.

Christmas with Cops is a joint project with Walmart, the new not-for-profit Badges of Ashe and all law enforcement agencies that operate in Ashe County.

Donations for this event came from a large grant awarded to the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office from Walmart specifically for the event, along with generous donations from the Ashe Memorial Police Department, the Copper Mine Grill, the Motherboard and Badges of Ashe’s “No Shave November” fundraiser.

Heartfelt donations also came in from several local residents who wished to remain anonymous.

In addition to the gift cards, participants were also provided with well-stocked stockings from Motherboard and boxes of food from the Ashe County Sharing Center.

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