Shoppers on Saturday in Covington may have ran into an unexpected group of officers with baskets of toys early in the morning this weekend. The officers were a part of an annual tradition that helps families with low-income give gifts to their children.
The annual Shop with a Cop event for King County Sheriff, Maple Valley and Covington police was held on Saturday, Dec. 14, in the Covington Walmart.
Each year local police officers team up to help children from families in need to make sure children receive the gifts they deserve during the holidays. Over 300 at-risk youth went shopping on Saturday. Shop with a Cop is a product of the Maple Valley Rotary, Covington Rotary and Greater King County Police Activities League. This year each child received $75 to spend on anything in the store for themselves or family members. Each child is paired up with a police officer to go shopping. Many times officers chip in their own cash if a child is over budget.
“This is one of our favorite projects each year,” Maple Valley Rotary President Cindy Holm stated in a Shop with a Cop press release. “We recognize the importance of bringing these youth together with police officers to create positive, happy memories during the holiday season.”
This year less kids were invited to the event, which is not open to the public, because the Rotary clubs chose to increase each child’s spending budget by 50 percent, and to give more time between each officer and child while shopping.
Many kids purchased bikes, toys and school supplies while making new friends in the force. The big man himself, Santa Claus, also made an appearance while some of Santa’s “elves” helped officers wrangle the children. Check out some photos from Saturday’s event.