This past Christmas season, the Charlton County Sheriff’s Office once again conducted its annual Shop-With-a-Cop program. Every year the Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Charlton County school system selects a group of children and students to take part in the program. Using funds donated by local businesses and citizens, the Sheriff’s Office buys toys and gifts for those selected so that their holiday season is as bright as possible. This year presented more challenges than previous years.

Because so many people have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, whether by the infection itself or by the subsequent economic slowdown, donations were slow to come in, and the Sheriff’s Office was concerned that the event might have to be cancelled. The good people of Charlton County, however, decided that was not to be. After news began to spread that the event was facing a budget shortfall, donations began to pour in. Local citizens, businesses, and churches soon provided more than enough funds to make certain that no one selected would miss out and to give a good start towards next year’s program.

In past years, the Sheriff’s Office took all the children on a shopping trip to select their gifts. Once again, the pandemic forced a change. Parents provided wish lists for their kids and Angie Chesser, a dispatcher with the Sheriff’s Office, hit the internet to track down all the items. “It was certainly a challenge,” Mrs. Chesser said. “With so many people to shop for and so many gifts to track, my hands were full. But, honestly, this is the type of thing I love doing. It’s a good feeling to know that you’re making someone else’s day brighter.”

Each child picked up their items individually rather than the group event held in past years, but the smiles were certainly no smaller than usual as they saw their gifts. 

Sheriff Dobie Conner commented, “This is one of the things I am most proud of when I think back on my time in office. As you know, I’m retiring at the end of the year, but this program will continue to bring joy to as many people as possible for years to come. I am so grateful for and proud of the people of this county for the donations which allow us to do this year after year.”

The Charlton County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the following individuals and businesses for their support:  Southern Paws, Farm Bureau, Seldomridge Body Shop, T&T Development, OREMC, Lacy’s Kountry Store, Advanced Rehab, Harvey’s Supermarket, Charlton Tire, Relax Inn, McMillan Heating, Chancey’s Bonding, Canaday’s Grocery, Walker Jones, ESP Specialties, Southeastern Bank, Wal-Mart, United Methodist Church, Southern Ionics, Shaula Fuhlendorf, Gerald Payne, AJM, Camp Pinckney Baptist Church, Greater Faith Baptist Church, Waste Management, Hope Assembly of God, Jeanne Crews, Thomas and Janice Whitesell, Patti Becker, Janna Naputi, Joe Hopkins, Stoney and Brian Kern, FNB, Joan Fitzgerald, Janice Roberts, and Tommy Tillman.

A special thank you to Sunny Allbritton, Shannon Murray, and the Charlton County Board of Education for their help and support with the Shop-With-a-Cop program.

If anyone who donated was left off of this list, the Sheriff’s Office offers our sincere apologies. The mistake is ours and no slight was intended. Thank you again for all your wonderful donations. Without you, the people and businesses of this county, we would never be able to provide this service.