Brenton is back: Local youth to raise funds for Shop with a Cop

Brenton Yarger shows off the outfit he will wear while raising funds for Shop with a Cop. Photo by Emma Rausch

By Joseph Slacian

The holiday season will soon be here, and with it are many familiar sites and sounds.

Those include colorful light displays on homes, businesses and, of course, the Wabash County Courthouse.

It also includes Brenton Yarger, a Northfield High School freshman, who has already started his annual quest to raise funds for the Wabash County Shop With a Cop program.

Brenton and his grandfather, Dave Jackson, braved rain and cold temperatures the weekend of Nov. 3-4 to stand outside of Walmart seeking donations to help the local program. He also will be back several times during the holiday season, hoping to reach his goal of raising $10,000 this year, topping last year’s goal total of $9,530.

“We’re almost at $2,000 already,” Brenton told The Paper of Wabash County.

While the goal is lofty, Brenton said he didn’t have any second thoughts about raising funds again this year.

“I just like helping kids,” he said. “I never thought when I was 6- or 7-(years-old) that I would be in charity work.”

He primarily raises the funds through seeking donations from the public. However, he also recycles scrap metal and has raised nearly $200 by doing so.

“One man has donated a riding lawnmower for him to sell,” Brenton’s grandmother, Brenda Jackson said. “He donated it and told him to get whatever he could for it. It’s a nice one, too.”

Brenton is in his seventh year of raising funds, and is closing in on $30,000 donated to Shop With a Cop. In the first six years, he’s raised $29,092.21 to be exact.

One thing is different with Brenton’s collection efforts this year. In years past, he has worn a replica Wabash Police Department uniform. But he’s not going to do so this year.

“I’m not wearing my uniform this year for safety reasons,” he said. “The cops didn’t want me wearing my uniform unless there’s another cop out there watching me.

“I agree with the cops, but yet I don’t agree because I usually get more money in my uniform.”

Mrs. Jackson said Brenton, who now stands about 5-feet, 11-inches tall, is as tall or not taller than many of the officers and, from a distance, can look like a real policeman.

Local officers did volunteer to stand watch over Brenton on the days he’s seeking donations.

But, Brenton being Brenton, put the needs of the police officers first, and agreed not to wear it.

“I couldn’t do that, take them away from their families,” he said.

Instead of the uniform, he will wear a vest that has his name and a photo of him dressed in his policeman’s uniform. He does plan on wearing the uniform on Dec. 16, when the local Shop With a Cop program takes place.

Brenton will resume his quest from 5-9 p.m. Nov. 17 at Walmart.

Other hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 18, Nov. 25-26 and Dec. 2-3.

“I thank the public for their donations,” he said. “Every penny will help. Also, if you have cans to donate, you can contact my grandma through Facebook.”

He also thanks Walmart manager Justin Ramsey for allowing him to solicit funds outside the building.

“He’s very, very helpful and very, very nice,” Brenton said.

In a related matter, Chad Galligan, vice president of the Wabash Fraternal Order of Police No.83, thanked all of the program’s supporters.

“We understand quite a few of our city and county residents have acquired cell phones and no longer have a land line so as you know, it's been difficult to reach some of our benefactors,” he continued. “If we haven't contacted you and you would like to support our Wabash County children with the Shop With A Cop program our lodge number for Wabash County is 260-563-2157.

“Also, you may drop off your donation to the Wabash Police Department, 1340 Manchester Ave. Wabash.”

In 2016, the program assisted 257 area children. Galligan said organizers expect at least that many for this year's program, as well.

Posted on 2017 Nov 14