The deadline for applications to be part of this year's Cops and Kids at Christmas program is Dec. 11.
Every year, the Chester Police Department, Steeleville Police Department and the Randolph Country Sheriff's Office host the program, in partnership with the Chester Walmart.
Low-income children go shopping with police officers for presents for their families -- giving the kids a chance to pick out presents and spend a fun day with local law enforcement. This year the shopping will be done on Dec. 18.
As well, the Cops and Kids at Christmas program welcomes donations. Bring your contribution to any of the three listed departments, and make checks payable to the Randolph County Sheriff's Office c/o "Cops and Kids at Christmas".
The police departments and sheriff's office welcome the opportunity to work with families in the community, especially those with underprivileged children who may not have the same opportunities as others their age.
"Cops and Kids at Christmas is one of the ways we strive to strengthen our communities and reach out to families in need," a news release says.
Applications for children to participate are available at the Chester and Steeleville police departments and the Randolph County Sheriff's Office. Applications must be returned to one of the departments by Dec. 11. Families chosen for the program will be notified starting on Dec. 13.
A committee will make the selections based on information gleaned from the applications. Families who have not participated in a similar program before will be given priority, however all applications will be given serious consideration, the release says.