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Manitowoc police seeking donations to buy presents for around 25 families at annual Shop with a Cop event

Posted at 6:58 PM, Oct 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-25 20:11:16-04

MANITOWOC (NBC 26) — Every holiday season, Manitowoc law enforcement officers go shopping with a child in need.

Becky Wilhelm has tagged along many times.

"It's very fun to watch the single male officers try and pick out clothing for kids and they have no idea what they're talking about," the Big Brothers Big Sisters WI Shoreline Education and Event Coordinator said.

Police Captain Jeremy Kronforst has been doing it for seven years.

"It's a big event," he said. "It's controlled chaos, but the kids have fun. The officers have fun."

The Manitowoc Shop with a Cop program is seeking donations for this year's event on Dec. 8.

"Roughly about $150 to $200 is what it is for about the average-size family," Kronforst said. "Some families are larger. Some families are smaller."

It all happens at Walmart. And the plan this year is to get 25 to 30 children from organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters and others.

"[We get] kids from participants and graduates of our drug court for the county to help out some of those families, because they're kind of rebuilding after working through addiction," Kronforst said.

He says people can drop donations off at the department or at a local light show called Frosty's Festival of Lights.

"One of my favorite things to do is to watch them try and wrap presents at the end of the night too," Wilhelm said. "They get such a kick out of having that police officer or law enforcement officer just spend that time with them."

Officers from the police and sheriff's department, as well as other organizations, will be there walking alongside each child on Dec 8.

"To give them a little extra positive during the holidays is something nice," Kronforst said.