For years, when customers would visit Stewarts Jewelry on Main Street in Franklin needing a small jewelry repair, or a watch battery changed, rather than charge the customer for the work, Stewarts Jewelry owner Cliff Harris would suggest the customer donate to a jar he kept by the register. The jar, which collected change throughout the year, was identified as a donation point for the Macon County Sheriff’s Office Shop with a Cop Program. At the end of every year, Harris, who was a faithful Rotarian, would donate whatever he collected in that jar over the year to the Rotary Club, who would use the donation as a portion of their annual donation to the Shop with a Cop program. Harris kept that jar on the counter of Stewarts until the business closed its doors earlier this year.
Last Friday, Harris was recognized by the Macon County Sheriff’s Office and the Rotary Club of Franklin for his unwavering support during the first annual “A Night with the Legends” benefit concert for Shop with a Cop. The event, which was cohosted by the Macon County Sheriff’s Office Auxiliary and Rotary Club of Franklin, featured nine local musical acts performing legendary rock, county, and bluegrass classics on stage at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts. The event raised just under $5,000 for the Shop with a Cop program.
Harris was surprised by the recognition and his family shared with the audience why Shop with a Cop meant so much to Harris.
When Harris was growing up, he and his siblings were placed in foster care right around Christmas. Even as a young child, Harris remembers seeing all the other children open their Christmas gifts during a party and remember what it felt like knowing that because of his situation, and no fault of his own, he wasn’t going to have that Christmas experience. The Santa at the Christmas party presented Harris and his siblings with a silver dollar from his own pocket to make up for the lack of gifts he had for the children. Harris said that act of kindness stuck with him and is the very reason why Shop with a Cop was a priority for Harris over the program’s 22 years of existence.