Bucks youth "Shop with a Cop"
They loomed large over their young shopping partners, plucking dolls from shelves and grabbing games out of arm’s reach – heroes work to more than two dozen elementary-aged children who came to buy gifts at the Walmart in Quakertown on Dec. 17.
For the third year, members of the Quakertown Borough and Richland Township police departments participated in Shop with a Cop, a national program that pairs police officers with children to afford them a better Christmas.
Twenty-six youth participated in this year’s program, which is geared toward Quakertown Community School District children whose families are facing various life challenges – anything from economic hardship to military deployment. Four of this year’s participants reside at a homeless shelter, said Quakertown Borough Officer Robert Lee, who co-started the program in Quakertown three years ago.
Through the support of individual donors and businesses, the children were given $175 to purchase presents for themselves and their family members. Uniformed officers guided the children around the store and assisted the young shoppers by pushing carts, crossing items off wish lists and leading the children through the checkout line. Afterward, youth enjoyed food and a craft as volunteers wrapped their gifts. Supplies were provided by Walmart.
The Shop with a Cop program, Lee said, is a great way for the departments to give back to their communities. Officers have the opportunity to be role models for youth, plus they get to help children make lasting memories.
“It’s a win-win,” he added.
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