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He’s thinking Christmas even in July

Rod Harris thinks about Christmas all year. Even in the heat at the St. Francois County Fair the last week in July, he was thinking about children who will need Christmas presents.

Harris, who is a nurse at the county jail and president of the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Association, collects money year-round for children in low-income families living in the county. At Christmas time, eligible children receive $100 tax-free to spend at Wal-Mart.

On July 28, Harris received a $4,000 check for this Shop With a Cop program from Desloge Wal-Mart.

“We are up to $22,000 already with this check,” Harris said.

Harris collected money for the cause at the fair. He also will be at Desloge Labor Day, collecting money. Those donating will have the opportunity to win an ATV donated by KTJJ/KREI.

Sheriff Dan Bullock said 100 percent of the money they raise for the program goes to the children.

One of the largest programs, the department’s Shop With a Cop program helps more than 400 children each December before Christmas break. A law enforcement-related individual shops with each child.

“We’re glad to be able to help Shop With a Cop,” Desloge Wal-Mart Customer Service Manager Jeremy Hulsey said.

Bullock said Wal-Mart has always supported Shop With a Cop. The main event is held at the Farmington store while the make-up event is held in Desloge. Every year, the Farmington and Desloge stores donate thousands of dollars to the cause.

Bullock said they have been a good friend and neighbor to law enforcement.

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