The South Carolina Highway Patrol, in partnership with the SC Troopers Association and Walmart, brings comfort to children across the state ahead of the holiday season.
More than 130 children who have been impacted by a highway tragedy joined SC Highway Patrol Community Relations Officers and troopers on Thursday, December 7, at seven different Walmart locations across South Carolina to participate in the SC Highway Patrol 2023 Shop with a Cop event.
“These children have endured so much tragedy at such a young age. It can be hard to wrap your head around it,” said Colonel Christopher N. Williamson, Commander of the SC Highway Patrol. “If we can provide a little comfort to these kids in some capacity and put a smile on their faces, even for just one evening, then we’ve done our job today.”
Each child was gifted a $150 Walmart gift card to spend how they wished, generously provided by anonymous donors to the SC Troopers Association. The Highway Patrol’s Victim Services Unit set up the partnership with seven Walmart stores across the state and then identified children in need who have been greatly impacted by a traffic collision in 2023 that resulted in a fatality or life-altering injury.
“We see the heartache that these families have to wrestle with every day. At times, you feel helpless,” said Crystal Salley, SC Highway Patrol’s Victim Services Unit manager. “It’s opportunities like this that keep you grounded. I can’t begin to describe how grateful we are for our partnership with Walmart, the SC Troopers Association, and for the private donors who made this event possible.”
The Shop with a Cop events are aimed to foster positive relationships between the youth and local law enforcement, as well as spread some holiday cheer for children in need. The South Carolina Highway Patrol adopted seven families last year as part of their Christmas Initiative, however, partnerships and generosity from the community allowed for the program to be significantly expanded in 2023.
For individuals interested in donating to future SCHP community events, please visit the SC Troopers Association website to learn more – www.sctroopers.org.