Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Putnam Emergency Workers Spend National First Responders Day Shopping With Kids

Thursday is National First Responders Day but Putnam County responders spent the morning giving back to kids.

Responders from around the county took over 30 students on a $115 shopping spree at Academy Sports and Outdoors. Cookeville Police Officer Mason Vaughn said the kids always start out shy during events but before you know it, they’re off and running.

“It’s amazing, I grew up in the community and law enforcement can be a scary thing for some kids,” Vaughn said. “So giving this opportunity where they get to be around police officers and first responders, they can see a positive side and it’s not something scary for them.”

Vaughn got to spend the morning with Avery Trace Student Brayden Agin. Agin said Officer Vaughn helped him pick out a new backpack and a new skateboard. Agin said it was a great feeling to finally get his own skateboard and can now replace his sister’s backpack since she let him borrow hers.

“I have a skateboard but it’s one of my friends,” Agin said. “And now I can give it back to him because I got this one.”

Vaughn said doing these shop with a cop type of events has an even greater impact during the holiday season. He said it gives off a special feeling to play a part in providing a young kid in Putnam County an extra gift they were not expecting.

In total, Academy Sports and Outdoors surprised 36 children with a $4,000 shopping spree. The group of responders was made up of the Cookeville Police Athletic League and various emergency organizations.

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