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Local youth think giving is great

First Shop with a Sheriff program in Ray County was a hit

Sheriff Garry Bush helps Ryan Shepard check his cart to make sure all his family’s gifts are there. (Photo by Leah Wankum/Richmond News)

By Leah Wankum, Editor

The children who participated in Shop with a Sheriff in Richmond already think that giving is more important than receiving.

The Ray County deputies wanted to show the importance of giving through their first Shop with a Sheriff program this Christmas, but it turned out that the local children were already well acquainted with that attitude.

Sheriff Garry Bush and his deputies invited seven underprivileged families Tuesday to shop with them at Walmart in Richmond, and provided 19 children with $150 each so they could purchase Christmas gifts for their loved ones. Two of the families live in Richmond, while the other five families live in Orrick, Hardin, Henrietta, Lawson and Camden.

Deputy Jeff Perkins, who worked with Sgt. David Benham to coordinate the program, said he saw a lot of thoughtful gift-giving throughout the evening, including one boy who wanted to make sure his sister could get her ears pierced for free at Walmart if he bought her first pair of earrings.

“The biggest highlight that I saw was the majority of the kids focused on their families or other people instead of wanting to buy something for themselves,” Perkins said. “That makes me feel good because part of this program was to try to instill some values that it’s better to give, and a lot of them I didn’t even have to tell them twice. They didn’t even second-guess it. They went right into wanting to give everybody else something.”

The picking and choosing happened in a flurry of excitement, as the children took their carts and deputies up and down the aisles in search of the best gifts for their loved ones.

“It’s a little overwhelming, but it’s neat,” said Rose Shepard of Hardin. “There’s just a lot going on, a lot to process.”

Rose and Jared Shepard’s house in Hardin caught on fire a few weeks ago, and the local community has been providing their family with food, clothes, household items, toys and other amenities. Including the Shepard family in the Shop with a Sheriff program was just one of many local efforts to help the family while they recover from the loss.

“It’s a good thing,” Rose Shepard said. “We just appreciate it.”

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