Portage cops give kids an early Christmas

2013-12-17T19:00:00Z 2013-12-17T22:54:08Z Portage cops give kids an early ChristmasJoyce Russell joyce.russell@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2222 nwitimes.com

PORTAGE | Thirteen-year-old Emily Logsdon pulled the make-up kit off the shelf at Meijer on Tuesday afternoon.

"We can share it," she said, looking up at her mother, Amanda.

Emily had already picked her mother out a pair of tweezers.

She was sharing her Christmas shopping spree provided by Portage FOP Lodge 145 through their annual Cops for Kids program.

"They've always got me stuff and it is important to pay them back," said Emily about buying for her mother and friends.

Police Chief Troy Williams looked on.

"I can't recall another kid wanting to get something for their parents or another friend," he said.

The annual program, began in 1996, provided 40 children with approximately $100 each to go shopping, said Joe Mokol, organizer of the annual event. Meijer donated $3,000. Much of the rest came in from community donations. NIPSCO also provided 30 Build-a-Bears to be distributed to the younger children.

A few aisles from Emily, Mason Lankford, 8, was shopping for a bike. He found one, trimmed in neon yellow.

"That's Mason," said his aunt, Michelle Chauncey, of Kouts, about the bike.

The program means as much to the adults as it does to the kids.

"It means a whole lot," said Amanda Logsdon. "Since I lost my job, we've been staying with friends. It means they can have Christmas."

Chauncey said Mason's mother, a former Portage police dispatcher, is in the hospital battling a virus in her heart. She worked for the department for six years before undergoing a heart transplant.

"It means a lot to her. She's not been able to work," said Chauncey, adding Mason's mother cried when she heard the police had chosen to help Mason through the program.

"A lot of times, they don't see us as friendly," Mokol said about the children's views of police. "Here they see us in a better light. And, they're kids and it is Christmas."

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