Disadvantaged Kids Get to Shop with a Cop
Nonprofits organize limo-driven outing for local children
ANCHORAGE - For a child whose family is in transition, the holidays aren't always the cheeriest of times.
Two local nonprofits, AWAIC and the Salvation Army teamed up with Anchorage Police and firefighters to change that. This allowed 50 local kids to go on a shopping spree in style.
Stretch limos dropped off the students at Fred Meyer at Midtown. "It was super fun!" Angelia said. She described the fancy lighting inside.
Once they get to the store, the kids were paired up with an officer or firefighter to help them choose how to spend the $125 dollars they received. These were funds from the firefighters and officers. Fred Meyer also pitched in some gift cards.
Brother and sister James and Jolina wanted to find something for their mom. Jolina perused the makeup aisle. She said her mom's favorite color is pink. She was also looking for her two year old sister.
Officer Sean Keating said the generosity he sees in children is the best part. "What I think is very exciting is they're not just thinking about them. Like Jolina I was shopping with was more interested in getting gifts for her brother, her little sister or her mom more than her. I actually had to push her to get gifts for herself. I think that's awesome because that is exactly what Christmas is all about... giving."
And giving something to her family wasn't something Jolina thought she'd be able to do this year.
The police and firefighter volunteers said it's a nice change from their usual work. Senior Police Officer Devin Ehm said, "We usually respond to people who aren't having a good day. People are having a great day and it lifts our spiritt as well."
After shopping, kids checked their lists twice, checked out and wrapped their presents so they'd be ready for the tree.
Angelia and Jolina think their families will like what they've chosen. Jolina said, "It's been awesome."
And it's making the volunteers' holidays a little brighter too.