Janesville, Wis. December 1st, 2016 – Blain’s Farm and Fleet is proud to partner with the Janesville Police Department’s Shop with a Cop program for the first time this year.
The Janesville Police Department started the program six years ago allowing one student from each of Janesville’s elementary schools to be picked up from school in a squad car and shop a local retail store for gifts for their family and themselves during the holiday season. Blain’s Farm and Fleet was excited to partner with officials this year to bring holiday cheer to more local students.
“Being a family owned company, the holidays are really special to us and no child should go without toys on Christmas,” said Kristin Mickelson, PR Manager for Blain’s Farm and Fleet. “But we had to find a way to reach more deserving kids. So this year, two students from each of the 12 Janesville elementary schools were chosen to receive $200 gift cards each to shop Blain’s Farm and Fleet for holiday gifts.”
With more students involved, there was a need for more officers but the Janesville Police Department was determined to make it happen. Officers from the Milton Police Department and Deputies from the Rock County Sherriff’s Department graciously accepted the opportunity to help the kids shop.
“This event allows police officers a chance to have positive interaction with children and they do not get that chance very often,” said Chad Sullivan, Crime Prevention Officer for the Janesville Police Department. “This year more than ever the children need to see officers in a good light. The recent events in the media about police give children and citizens a false impression on who we are as officers. Thank you to Blain’s for allowing us to have this amazing experience with the kids.”
A 25th child was chosen and the money for their gift card was donated by an anonymous citizen.
Students will be picked up after school Friday December 9th and driven in a squad car to Blain’s Farm and Fleet to shop from 4p.m. to 6p.m. with the help of an officer. Festival Foods will supply the children with a meal and volunteers will help them wrap their gifts to take home.
“We are so happy that these children and their families will have a Merry Christmas this year, but even more important, it is great that our community will get to see local businesses and law enforcement coming together for such a great cause. I hope many people can come to the store to see these kids’ faces as they shop but maybe also get the chance to meet and thank our local officers,” said Mickelson.
December 9th is also The Kids Helping Kids 12 Hour Marathon Toy and Food Drive at Blain’s Farm and Fleet. Customers can drop off unwrapped toys, non-perishable food, personal care items and cash donations from 7a.m. to 7p.m on December 9th. There will be a variety of thank you gifts and matching funds opportunities throughout the day. All proceeds will go to help ECHO and The Salvation Army.
Other events will include “Touch a Truck” with an Ozinga Concrete truck and complimentary hot chocolate from the Salvation Army all day, a kids in the cab experience in a Blain’s Farm and Fleet semi from 3p.m. to 7p.m. and a chance to see Blain’s mini semi-truck. Special appearances by The Rock County Rage Football Team and Santa Clause from 2p.m. to 4p.m. Thanks to co-sponsors WCLO/WJVL, The Janesville Gazette, Festival Foods, Bud Weiser Motors, Ozinga Concrete, Finnegan’s RV Center, Van Galder Tour and Travel, Dunkin’ Donuts, Marling Lumber and Marling Homeworks, The Boucher Automotive Group, Renee’s Primitives, Porch, ECHO and The Salvation Army for making this day all about giving back to the Janesville community.
“With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we hope having a location and an entire day to donate toys, food, money or even just their time will help spread the Christmas cheer. It should be a day for the entire family to reflect what the season is all about,” said Mickelson.
Blain’s Farm and Fleet of Janesville
2421 Old Humes Road (Hwy 14)
Janesville, WI 53545
Media Contact: Kristin Mickelson
Phone: (608)754-2821 ext. 5044
Founded in 1955, Blain’s Farm & Fleet stores are specialty discount retailers with 38 locations throughout Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. The company remains steadfast in its commitment to offering customers high quality products, competitive prices and reliable service. Visit www.farmandfleet.com.