Spreading Christmas joy for local children with ‘Shop with the Sheriff’ program

Pittsboro, NC – The Christmas spirit was alive and thriving this week as the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office continued its annual ‘Shop with the Sheriff’ program, a tradition that aims to brighten the season for local children navigating economic challenges.

The program aims to make the holiday season brighter for children by providing them with a special shopping experience alongside law enforcement officers. Each child received a $75 allowance to spend on items of their choosing. During this holiday season, four ‘Shop with a Sheriff’ events were held at Chatham County’s two Walmart locations: Siler City and North Chatham.

“The ‘Shop with a Sheriff’ program is more than just a holiday tradition,” said Sheriff Mike Roberson, who was busy interacting with the young shoppers, sharing jokes, fist-bumps, and hugs. “It’s a meaningful way for us to connect with the families in our community who may be facing difficulties during this time. It’s about spreading joy, building positive relationships, and making a lasting impact on the lives of these children. This is what Christmas is all about.”

The program’s positive impact was immediately evident as this year’s “Shop with a Sheriff” got underway Tuesday evening in Siler City’s Walmart, where the first 21 shoppers fanned out through the store, each accompanied by an officer.

“This is the best day ever!” one young shopper enthused.

But it wasn’t just the children who were having fun and making memories. 

“One thing I love about my job is the opportunity to be part of such positive community service,” said Detention Officer Shianne McRae, who accompanied several shoppers, helping them pick out items, find correct clothing sizes, and stay within budget. “It feels good. I like the way we do so much for the community.”

Detention Officer Teborah Hawkins matched her co-worker’s enthusiasm. “The kids are so appreciative, and this is such a sweet program,” she said. “It’s humbling. I’m sure it means a lot to these children. I know it means a lot to me.”

The success of the ‘Shop with a Sheriff’ program is made possible through generous donations from community members, and this year, the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office extends its gratitude to David Pike and his wife, Hannah, for their ongoing support of the program. The Pike family this year contributed $3,500 for ‘Shop with a Sheriff,’ ensuring that more children could participate in the experience.

“My wife and I both love Pittsboro and Chatham County,” David said. “We love where we live, and we really appreciate how the Sheriff’s Office supports our community. Sheriff Mike Roberson and his team are so involved in such positive ways, getting out there and doing a lot of good for people. They’re not just putting people in handcuffs. They’re out there in our community, showing up for events and festivals, visiting retirement homes and schools, giving back to the community. They’re helping so many people. We appreciate that so much and want to help those programs continue.”

Anyone interested in contributing to the program through a donation may call the Sheriff’s Office at 919-542-2811.