Nine time out of ten times if you see a police officer walking through a store with a young child or a pre-teen it is not good news. However the scene was not what it looked like in Charles County MD when the Sheriffs Department stepped up and played the roll as Santa in the Shop With Cops event!
This year was the first Shop With a Cop event and it couldn’t have been more successful. The children that were chosen all came from underprivileged homes and to them this was the best gift they have ever received. Each police officer visited the child’s home previous to the shopping trip to discuss it with the parents and assure them that it would be a fun and safe event for all.
Each of the fifty or so children were picked up from their homes early last Saturday morning by their designated “cop for the day”. They were then taken to the local Jaycees center for snacks and pictures before their big shopping spree. Soon after they were on their way to the Waldorf Wal-Mart in style. Cruisers driving in the convoy turned on their lights and sirens and the smiles on the children’s faces were bright enough to light up the whole town!
The isles were filled with kids and cops pushing their carts. Some headed straight for the toy isle while others were more interested in new clothes. Each child was given $250.00 to shop till they dropped. All involved expected the kids to all buy things for themselves but were quite surprised to see that the majority of them were more interested in buying gifts for mom and dad.
After all of the money was gone and the carts were full the children were then taken back to Middleton Hall where volunteers wrapped their gifts while they had a few more treats.
"This is what Christmas is all about," said volunteer wrapper Thadine Wright, who doubles as principal at Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Elementary.
It isn't every day that we get to see the kind side of police officers. It may even see that they have hardened their heart a bit. Christmas has obviously brought out the best in these local police officers and because of them there are a some very happy little ones running around Charles County!
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