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Cops, firefighters Christmas shop with homeless children

By Shannon Ballard 8:49 PM December 20, 2013

14th annual Shop with a Cop, Shop with a Firefighter

ANCHORAGE - Rolling up in style to a department store, Christmas wishes were within reach.

There were dozens of options Friday morning for kids coming from homeless shelters, thanks to the police and firefighter unions and Fred Meyer.

Second grader Jamie Walsh hasn’t always had a permanent home and is part of a program that helps children in transition. He partnered with Police Chief Mark Mew to pick out gifts he might not otherwise be able to afford.

With $125 to spend, Jamie and 50 other kids went on a shopping spree.

Jamie has a small voice and a big heart. He was focused on finding the perfect something for his mom and big brother Nathan.

For himself, there were things on Jamie’s list most kids don’t even think about needing.

“What do you need to get by in the winter to stay warm?” Mew asked Jamie.

“I need socks,” Jamie answered.

It was a heartwarming day for cops and firemen, and they hope their shopping buddies will see them in a new light, they said.

“Our money is about gone but I’d like to buy you something myself,” Mew told Jamie. “What would you like?”

Jamie picked out some tools and a tool belt.

His mother said because of the kindness showed to her son, this will likely be his best Christmas.

They might not look like elves, but Anchorage firefighters and police officers are most certainly Santa’s helpers. With more than 4,000 homeless children in the community, only a fraction of Anchorage’s homeless children could be part of the 14th annual Shop with a Cop, Shop with a Firefighter event.

Police and firefighters encourage people to donate to individual shelters so more kids can receive something special this Christmas.

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