Sunday, December 11, 2011

Shop with a Cop

Officer Todd and the kids.

Thanks to the kindness of friends, the kids got a really special treat yesterday.  Shop with a Cop is a nationwide program to help lower income families get through the holidays.  The kids get to take a trip through a local Walmart with a local police officer and choose toys for themselves, up to $50. 

I had never heard of this program, then I received word from a friend that they had nominated me and my family had been chosen to participate. Since one of my friends is married to a cop who was participating in the event, we thought it would be pretty neat if the kids got to shop with him.  It didn’t work out that way, but it was still a special experience for everyone. 

We arrived at 8:45 a.m., per my friend’s suggestion.  My sister came with us (and all the photos are courtesy of her) and when we pulled in to the parking lot, we started laughing.  “Can you imagine being a shoplifter?” my sister asked.  The parking lot was wall-to-wall cop cars.  It was pretty impressive.  Cops from every nearby city and district were represented.  We saw Burien cops, Seatac cops, King County Sheriffs… 

When we approached the door, we were guided to the line.  Which wrapped along one side and the back of the store.  While the line was somewhat intimidating, I couldn’t help but think how many donations and how much kindness of others this represented.  What a wonderful thing, that so many families would be helped! 

The line moved quickly, and soon we were matched up with our cop, Officer Todd.  In the line, I had decided that Elias could ask for a video game, since that’s what he really wanted, but I told him that if they asked, mention that it had been a gift from his aunt.  As soon as we met Officer Todd, Elias walked right up to him and said “My mom said I could get a video game, but to let you know my aunt gave me my DS.”  If there’d been a hole in the floor, I would have gladly jumped right in.  Officer Todd grinned.  “He speaks his mind, doesn’t he?” he said.
Elias gets the game he's been dying for.

 Elias promptly picked out DragonQuest Monsters, a game for his DS that he has been begging for since August.  Maddie was a little more challenging.  She eventually found a little rabbit that comes with a dressing trailer (huh?), a pony that came in a purse, and a Magnadoodle.  The pony in the purse was the clear winner, and she pretty much refused to let go of it for the rest of the day (and she slept with it last night). 

Maddie shows off her pony in a purse.

 Officer Todd was friendly and patient with the kids, even when Elias tried to go into one-up mode, and the kids had a wonderful time.  I do hope they understand that this trip is going to help make up for the rather meager amount of presents that will be under the tree this year.    I’m deeply grateful to my friends for making this happen. 

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