Yakima Police Officers take 20 kids on shopping spree for holiday presents
YAKIMA, Wash. - Finding the perfect toy could be difficult, but it's a little easier when you let the kid pick it out for themselves.
The Yakima Police Department brought twenty kids into Target before the store opened and let then run up and down the aisles to find whatever they want.
"They go out there and just that interaction between the police, the community and the kids,” Officer Efren Morfin said. “Getting to see them pick out what they want, that's pretty cool."
The children were nominated by police officers and school districts as a way to give toys to those that might not have any under the tree.
They were each given a $50 gift card and paired up with an officer to do some shopping.
Target team member Daniel Lara said employees who were helping out, volunteered for the event and some came in on their day off.
"Waking up this morning was an exciting feeling, because i like giving back to the community with volunteer service," he said.
After the gifts were purchased, officers helped wrap the gifts as well to make sure kids, like Jamie Barajas, got everything on their list.
"I got a machine nerf gun, an R2D2 bank and I got something else but I forgot," Barajas said.
Even though the kids were given $50 gift cards, they usually go over that amount and officers paid for the gifts out of their own pocket.
Officers said seeing totals of around $300 isn't unheard of.
Once the gifts were ready to go, some kids got VIP escorts and were dropped off at school by the police officers they were paired up with.