From left to right: Kelsey O’Daniel, Doug Bailey, Larae Graves, Joe Guy, Lisa Rhea, Nicole Andrino, Julie Simbeck, and Jordan Haugen

Bowater Credit Union Member Doug Bailey has won a $1,000 Pay It Forward prize for his favorite non-profit doing good in our area, McMinn County Sheriff Department’s “Shop with a Cop” Program.
Bowater Credit Union asks its members to nominate their favorite non-profit helping people in the counties eligible for credit union membership: Bradley, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, and Polk. Up to five $1,000 prizes are awarded each year and Shop with a Cop is the last winner of 2023.

Each year, the Sheriff’s Department is given two names of students in need from each of the McMinn County Elementary Schools for the “Shop with a Cop” Program. Each child is given a $100 Walmart gift card and is accompanied by a Sheriff’s Deputy to shop. “Another joyous part of this program is that not only does the child chosen by the school receive Christmas, but their siblings are also taken care of by the program,” wrote Bailey.

Mr. Bailey also wrote, “As an officer with McMinn County for more than 20 years, I have had the blessing of shopping with children and seeing the joy that “Shop with a Cop” brings to them each December. It is always very touching to see the kids choose their purchases, not only for themselves but for their parents and family.” “Shop with a Cop” sponsors anywhere between 50-100 children each Christmas season. “Shop with a Cop” will use their $1000 to give 10 kids a great Christmas.

To learn more about McMinn County Sheriff Department’s “Shop with a Cop”, to volunteer, or to make your own donation, contact Ashton Burrow with AB Fundraisers by emailing [email protected].

The Pay It Forward program will begin again in 2024 and will award up to 5 prizes. Any member of Bowater Credit Union can nominate their favorite non-profit for a $1,000 Pay It Forward prize. The deadline to be considered for the next prize is February 28, 2024.
Bowater Credit Union began the Pay It Forward program in 2010 to give back to the community it serves. Since the program’s inception, Bowater CU has given $57,000 to various charities making a difference in our community. For more information, visit BowaterECU.org.

Bowater Employees Credit Union is a federally insured credit union offering savings, checking, loans, and financial education to those who live, work, or go to school in the counties of Bradley, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, and Polk. They have four branches, over 19,000 members, and $250 million in assets. To learn more about Bowater Employees Credit Union and its services, call 423-336-7268 or visit BowaterECU.org.

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If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview please call Kelsey O’Daniel at 423-303-5615 or email her at [email protected].