Shoppers pose for a photo with members from the SFA University Police Department

Stephen F. Austin State University Police Department's Shop with a Cop served 24 children this year and raised nearly $5,000 in sponsorships.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas — The annual Shop with a Cop coordinated by the Stephen F. Austin State University Police Department recently took place at the local Walmart and successfully served more children and garnered more donations than expected.
The police department’s goal was to sponsor 20 children at a total cost of $3,000. However, officers were surprised to receive almost $5,000 in donations, enough to sponsor 24 children. Support was so good, in fact, that the department plans to have a second event next year called Christmas in July.
Shop with a Cop is meant to create positive relationships between police officers and the communities they serve.
“I want to thank everyone who helped make our third annual Shop with a Cop initiative successful,” said John Fields, UPD chief. “It’s always a good thing to prove to children, who are our future, that we care. It’s even more important for them to see the kindness of police officers. This is one investment UPD will continue supporting for years to come.”
This year’s sponsors included Fields and his wife, Dr. Michara DeLaney-Fields, SFA’s chief diversity officer; Gary Ashcraft; Craig Goodman; Greg and Stephanie Williams; SFA Regent Jennifer Wade Winston; Jeremy Pickett; Ian McDonald; Massey Motor Freight; Rockin’ C Trailers; the Charles and Lois Marie Bright Foundation; SFA Alumni Association; Concerned Black Men of Nacogdoches; and Gound Chevrolet. 
Other SFA-sponsored philanthropic efforts that take place during the holiday season include Thanksgiving Homebound, an annual food drive, and Toys for Tots, a gift collection of new and unwrapped toys.