In December 9, PLEA Charities and Arizona Probation Officers Association (AZPOA) hosted the 11th annual Shop With a Cop at Kohl’s. We are grateful to Kohl’s for graciously allowing us to hold our event at its store, because as you may remember, there were many conflicts and difficulties in 2020, to say the least, that prevented us from hosting the event at a shopping location. We were able to have a fresh start for the 2021 event. After months of planning, we’re happy to report that Shop With a Cop was nothing short of incredible. Thank you in part to the Phoenix Police Department, AZPOA and the West Valley Mavericks Foundation for contributing to the event’s success.
A total of 125 children were able to attend the event. After being picked up by officers in their police cars, the children arrived at the store and were able to enjoy breakfast, which included doughnuts donated by LaMar’s Donuts, milk donated by Shamrock Farms, fresh fruit donated by Willie Itule and breakfast burritos donated by AZ Barbeque. The children anxiously waited for Blue Santa and his helper elf to arrive, by police helicopter #8555 no less. All the officers and children stood at the front of the store to watch a short demonstration by the Phoenix Police K-9 unit as they waited for Santa.
Blue Santa landed and brought a cheerful holiday greeting to all the children. Inside the store, children had the opportunity to take a photo with Blue Santa and tell him what they wanted for Christmas. It was so heartwarming to see all of the children smiling from ear to ear waiting for their turn to meet Santa.
Then the shopping began. Each child was provided with a goodie bag filled with more holiday cheer. Domino’s, the Christmas Angel Sponsor for the event, gave the children gift cards to share with their family members. Each child submitted a wish list of items, and officers were given their respective child’s list to help them shop. They were allowed to spend $150 per child, and in some cases our officers used their own money to cover the spending that was over the allotted amount.
After the shopping was finished, the officers and children went outside to wrap gifts under covered canopies and portable heaters provided by Surprise Rental. Before all the children left, they had the opportunity enjoy ice cream from the Phoenix Police ice cream truck and see the BearCat tactical vehicle used by the Department’s Special Assignments Unit (SAU). Duncan and Sons Lines also had two semi-trucks on display for kids to climb into, and the kids were even given a chance to blow the trucks’ air horns. The officers then returned the children back to their families.
The event would not have been possible without support from the following sponsors:
- Presenting Sponsors: West Valley Mavericks Foundation and Duncan and Sons Lines, Inc.
- Christmas Angel Sponsor: Domino’s
- In-kind donors: LaMar’s Donuts, AZ Barbeque, Kiwanis Club International, Fantastic Fire Department, Willie Itule, AMICI Catering, Phoenix Police Museum, Shamrock Farms and Kohl’s