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The School Newspaper of Texas High School

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Police, Fire departments spread Christmas cheer

First-responders host annual shopping event
Volunteer firefighter and Texas High School junior Bella Cornelius points to gifts in the shopping cart while participating in Shop with a Cop. This year, shoppers spent $150 on their holiday gifts.

Sirens sound as police officers, firefighters and EMT services round the corner of Target. Excited children line up on the sidewalk as the first responders ride by smiling and waving. Local first responders and Target hosted the annual Shop with a Cop and Firefighter on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023. 

The event provides children an opportunity to interact with first responders in a way that normally wouldn’t be accessible to the children or their families. Police and fire department personnel paired off with children to scour the aisles of Target in search of toys and clothes for Christmas, making their December a little more joyful.

“I think Shop with a Cop does a couple things for the community,” Texarkana Texas Police Department public information officer Shawn Vaughn said. “One is that it obviously gives the kids an opportunity to get something for Christmas that they might not be able to, and I also think it gives the children that are involved in this an opportunity to see first responders, police officers and firefighters maybe in a different light.”

In previous years, shoppers received money from local sponsors and donors that allowed them to provide $100 for the kids to spend on whatever they wanted to purchase for themselves or their families.

Truth Dukes

“This year our donations were actually really good so we were able to increase the amount from $100 to $150, so in total that’s about $18,000 we raised for the kids,” Vaughn said. “Shop with a cop is a nonprofit organization. We do this every year and it’s organized by our board of directors, raising money in the community through the donations and events that we host throughout the year.”

Target teams up with the local first responders to ensure the event runs smoothly and helps make the shopper’s Christmas merry.

“My favorite part about this entire experience is just to see the interactions with the kids and first responders, the planning is a little tedious, but in the end, it’s worth seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces when they check out,” Target guest experience team leader Renea Booker said.

Texas High School junior and C-5 volunteer firefighter Isabella Cornelius participated in her first Shop with a Cop as a volunteer this year. She helped her shopper pick out all the toys he wanted while staying within the budget.

“This was my first year participating in the event, and I really enjoyed it,” Cornelius said. “Shopping with the kids and helping them pick out the things they wanted truly made me happy.”

With the event recurring annually, this holiday tradition not only grows the families and first responders closer but also provides the kids with a memorable Christmas. 

“I truly believe that events like this help make a difference in the lives of these families and the community as a whole,” Cornelius said.

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About the Contributors
Lyric Curtis
Lyric Curtis, Visual Journalist/Staff Writer
Senior Lyric Curtis is a first year staff writer in THS Publications. She is also a first year photographer for the publications team. Curtis is a member of the varsity softball team at THS and has actively participated in Leader In Me for 4 years. She enjoys taking photos, hanging out with friends, laughing at any and everything and listening to her all-time favorite artist, Frank Ocean. Curtis hopes to pursue a career in dental hygiene and attend college at Texas A&M University at College Station. She wants everyone to feel heard and accepted because life is tough!
Kailyn Williams
Kailyn Williams, Sports Editor
Kailyn Williams is a third-year senior member of the newspaper staff and Sports Editor. She is an overachieving perfectionist, who doesn’t like failing. She is a member of the varsity volleyball and softball team and likes to maintain straight A’s.
Truth Dukes
Truth Dukes, Social Media Manager
Truth Dukes is a third year returning year staff photographer and is the current Social Media Editor for photography. She enjoys creative multimedia work, and plans to study Media Marketing after high school at the University of North Texas. Truth is excited to help lead the photographers this year aside the other photo editors, but is sad to finish her last year of being a staff photographer.
Michelle Lopez
Michelle Lopez, Visual Journalist
Annie Smith
Annie Smith, Staff Writer
Sophomore Annie Smith is a first-year staff member of THS Publications. Annie is interested in the animal sciences and considers pursuing a career in that field. She hopes to try and experience new things. Academics are very important to her and she works hard in her classes to keep up with her grades.  Annie tends to stress easily but is a hard worker and tries her best in all that she does.  
Anna Bell Lee
Anna Bell Lee, Managing Editor/Webmaster
Anna Bell Lee is in her second year on the newspaper staff and is now Managing Editor and Webmaster. She is passionate about life and everything she does. She is a very organized and Type-A person but also loves to go with the flow. She loves her dog as if she were her child and would do anything for her. Lee plans on going to college for either nursing or journalism.   
Anna Haley
Anna Haley, Photo Editor
Anna Haley is a second-year staff writer for Tiger Times as well as the Newspaper and Yearbook Photo Editor. She loves to hunt, fish, take photos and make graphics. If she isn’t doing any of those, she is in her backyard with her dog. She is one of the Top 10 Photographers in Texas and hopes to be a recurring member. Anna is excited about the new year as Photo editor!
Chassidy Davis
Chassidy Davis, Visual Journalist
Chassidy Davis is a second year staff photographer. She loves football and softball, as well as taking pictures at the games. She is excited for her second and last year of her photography journey. She plans to go to the Air Force after she graduates, but she will always have Texas High Publications in her heart.

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