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Pay It Forward: Cops earn tips for tots

One law enforcement agency in Monroe County is giving toys to tots by earning tips for their cops.

Officers with the Madisonville Police Department are used to getting tips from the public... just not like this.

Credit: Jerry Owens

These tips help bring joy to kids during the holiday season.

“This was something that was near and dear to several of our officer’s hearts that started it and we decided, wouldn’t it be fun if we had our police officers out here waiting tables and using all that money that they made for tips for the Toys for Tots" said Melissa Graves with Donna's Old Time Cafe.

And so the tradition began. Madisonville P.D. has been taking over Donna’s Old Town Café to raise money for Cops for Tots for more than 10 years.

Credit: Jerry Owens

“In some years, previously, we’ve had them more than one time. They’ve actually showed back up for another shift” said Graves.

Each year, the City of Madisonville serves 1,500 to 2,000 kids during the holiday season.

The tips raised at Cops for Tots are combined with proceeds from other events around the area to buy toys for underserved kids in the community.

The officers at Donna’s work hard for the money. They LITERALLY get in there and get their hands dirty.

Credit: Jerry Owens

“They do a fabulous job. Now they’re not just in here taking orders pretending to the be the server, they’re actually writing it on the ticket, calling it into the kitchen, they’re seating and bussing tables and really taking care of everything in my place” said Graves.

For the residents of Madisonville, this has become a local tradition and they look forward to the event every year.