'Shop With a Cop' Makes Christmas Possible for Danville Children
Danville, VA - Dozens of police officers were at the Target in Danville Saturday. They weren't responding to a crime, though.
The police took Saturday to give back to their community with a program called "Shop with a Cop".
It's a program the Danville Fraternal Order of Police puts on every year.
Saturday morning, officers went shopping with fifteen children, whose parents need a little help this Christmas.
The police picked up the tab.
"Shape blocks, that you put the shapes down in the little thing, and then like two outfits, a pair of shoes," said parent Christy Wyles. She says the "Shop With a Cop" program is a blessing.
"It meant a whole lot, when you struggle you know, everybody needs helps sometimes, and I guess I just got blessed this year and actually have the help when I needed it," Wyles said.
"It means a lot, it means a lot to me and my family," recipient Jose Sanchez added.
The Danville Fraternal Order of Police has been raising money all year to help needy families in the area.
Each child was able to spend $50 on toys, and another $50 on clothes.
Police officers shopped with the parents, helping them pick out some of the gifts.
"Most of the time when children come in contact with law enforcement it's through a bad situation, something bad has happened. This kind of puts us in a different light to them, maybe make them more trusting of where we're more approachable," said Danville Police Captain Kelly Johnson.
"I'm really, really grateful, I appreciate every single bit of it," Wyles said.
Parents are expressing their gratitude for the program.
Police officers, however, say they were thankful to take part in such a rewarding experience.
"It does make you feel good knowing that you're helping some of the children, but at the same time you understand you can't help everybody and, you know you're not saving the world, but you know, you're helping a little bit," explained Danville Police Lt. Jerry Pace.
"See the smiles on the faces of the children today definitely make it worth it," added Target Manager Aaron Evans.
Law enforcement in Danville also did "Shop with a Cop" with 35 children earlier this week at Wal-Mart.
Saturday, Target donated $500 to the Danville Fraternal Order of Police, toward their next "Shop with a Cop" program.