Shop with an Officer

While most kids wish for toys and video games for Christmas, some simply want some kitchen supplies for mom and dad, or some clothes for their brothers and sisters.

That was one of the remarkable things Lakewood Police noticed on Sunday, when the Lakewood Officers’ Charity held its 5th Annual Shop with an Officer event, in which the charity helps 20 struggling families from Lakewood.

With the help of a generous grant from Walmart, the event allowed officers to give back by allowing a child - with the help of a Lakewood Police Officer – to buy items for his or her family. An Officer picked up the child in a police car and drove to Walmart, where the shopping begins.

This year, the shopping began in earnest, according to Sgt. John Unfred, with some of the children prepared with a detailed gift list and others who decided to simply shop on the fly. Each shopper is given a set amount of money to spend on each member of the family. Once they took care of everyone on the list, the children got to visit Santa Claus while their presents were wrapped by volunteer employees from Walmart, who also donated gift bags, snacks and cupcakes for the kids.

But the most amazing thing, Unfred said, is that most shoppers didn’t head directly to the toy aisles when shopping.

“Instead many headed straight to the housewares for mom and dad or to the clothing section for siblings,” he said. “We hope this truly makes a Difference in their lives.”