Kids ‘overjoyed’ to Shop with a Sheriff in Madison County
ONEIDA — The fifth annual Madison County Shop with a Sheriff event saw 36 kids shopping at Oneida Walmart with a $150 budget to buy whatever they wanted. The Shop with a Sheriff program works with children chosen from elementary schools across the county who are given a chance to shop, whether it’s for themselves or their family and loved ones, and spend time with some new friends in law enforcement.
Children shopped with a member of either a deputy sheriff, a member of the Madison County Office of Emergency Management, the Criminal Division, Corrections Division, School Resource Officers, administration staff, members of the Children’s Advocacy Center, academy recruits, or the ACA. Among children attending were Seth Wheeler Jr., 6, of Cazenovia, and Ashlee Shanahan, 9, of Munnsville.
Wheeler was out with his father, Seth Wheeler Sr., and Deputy Sheriff Steve Markle. It was the Wheelers’ first time participating.
“I’m just so grateful,” the elder Wheeler said of his son’s involvement. “The Madison County Sheriff’s Office is full of great people who help out so much. And it’s wonderful the kids get a chance to interact with law enforcement and see them for who they are — that they’re here to help and they’re friendly.”
Jennifer Miller stayed by the sidelines, letting her daughter Ashlee shop by herself. “When we were chosen, I cried,” Miller said. “The family has been struggling as of late. And this opportunity just made Christmas a whole lot easier. Ashlee was so excited and it really brought the spirits up.”
“There are 36 kids here and all of them are so happy and overjoyed,” she said, “Without it, they wouldn’t have that joy — including my daughter. I’m just so grateful.”
Some $6,000 was raised this year through the Madison County Road Patrol and Madison County Corrections Office. Money is raised throughout the year. Those looking to donate for next year can call the Madison County Sheriff’s Office at 315-366-2780 for information.
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