Coalition for Kids volunteer Brian Taylor spoke for many when he called it his “favorite Christmas thing to do.”
Cindy Young, community outreach coordinator for the coalition, said all 124 children who registered for this year’s 12th annual Shopping for Others tour were sponsored by community members and matched with adult volunteers and their families for the much-anticipated night of holiday shopping.
With a $100 sponsorship for each child to spend, the volunteers swept through the store in search of a mandatory list of gifts for each of the kids — new shoes, a coat if they need one, a new outfit of clothing, one gift for themselves and one gift for someone they love.
With their shopping wrapped up in less than two hours, the Coalition for Kids party was making its way out the back of the store, when more than a dozen police vehicles rolled into the parking lot in escort of a tour bus loaded 50 more children out for a holiday shopping trip to remember.
Shop With A Cop coordinator Amber Keller said in addition to $150 gifts for each of the children to shop with, this year’s event included gifts for another 30 children and their siblings who could not attend the event, 13 bicycles with helmets, and Christmas food boxes with hams for 30 families.
About 65 officers from several area law enforcement agencies took part in the event.