WESTMORELAND COUNTY (KDKA) -- State police are hoping those with a little extra will consider helping children with a little less.
When the pandemic hit, many local groups banded together to address the needs of their neighbors. That includes trooper Steve Limani, whose annual Shop With a Cop event provided holiday presents for about 800 children last year.
"That ended up being about 400 extra kids, and we really didn't have the money," Limani said.
With many of the traditional fundraising opportunities scaled back because of the pandemic, Limani was short on ideas to come up with the cash. But then he saw a sign.
"I was driving around, it was during politics, and there were yard signs everywhere," Limani said. "It got to the point where I couldn't stand seeing political signs no matter what they were. So I thought why couldn't we have a sign that said I took a kid Christmas shopping?"
Limani ended up selling more than 300 yard signs last year, keeping the program out of the red.
"I had so many people that would call the barracks and say, 'Hey, I saw my neighbor had a sign, what can we do to help?' It was literally so heartwarming," Limani said.
But the need continues this year. Limani expects about 200 more children than usual.
"We're talking about children that were either the victim of a crime or some type of unfortunate circumstance. People that have had homicide in their life, some domestic violence situations, indecent contact with an adult," Limani said.
Each sign purchases one kid $150 worth of presents. Click here for more or call 724-832-6485.
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