Mingo Junction, a village in eastern Jefferson County along the Ohio River, recently hosted its annual Shop with Cops program during the holiday season. Sixty children ages 5 to 13 were each given a $100 voucher and paired with a Mingo Junction police officer or local family to shop at an area store for toys and clothes.

Distribution Line Crew Supervisor Vince Byers, Mingo Junction Police Chief Willie McKenzie III and Customer Services Account Representative Frank Baldwin

Vince Byers is a line crew supervisor at the Steubenville service center who has lived in Mingo his entire life. He helped secure financial support from AEP Ohio and gathered additional donations from Steubenville employees.

“In Mingo everybody knows each other. There are a lot of elderly, retired people and an old rundown mill. The revenue just isn’t here anymore,” Byers said. “The local kids may not be as privileged as we are so we tried to make sure everyone has a smile on their face at the holidays.”

Mingo Junction Police Chief Willie McKenzie lll said partnerships like these are the way a community can pick each other up and build stronger bonds between its residents.

“We appreciate AEP’s support and are thankful for programs like this that bring the community together,” McKenzie said. “It helps unfortunate children and makes sure they have a Merry Christmas.”

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