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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tis the Season… to Shop With A Cop!

Shop With A Cop Foundation of Silicon Valley Take Kids on Joyride Through Target

With the holidays upon us and in full swing, there are many great charity events in motion, all doing their part to make a difference.  This year, I was fortunate enough to be invited to our local Shop With A Cop (SWAC) event. And oh what a difference they made to some special holiday shoppers.

On December 12th, eighty officers from twelve different agencies converged to participate in the 6th annual event held at Target off of Coleman in San Jose, CA. Both officers and SWAC volunteers were on hand for the same purpose, to bring a lot of holiday joy to some very deserving children. And from the looks of the smiles and shopping baskets, I saw a job well done.

This SWAC program is really two-pronged according to the foundation’s mission and Executive Director, Darrell Cortez. At the core, SWAC’s goal is to foster good relationships between kids in low income communities and the police officers who work in their neighborhoods by sharing positive experiences together. The foundation also recognizes the reality of tough economic times and the importance of children having a little something to celebrate.  "At this time of year, it's very important because poverty never ends, and the ones who suffer the most are the children," Cortez said.

Super Bowl champs making the kids feel like champs!
Local athletes from the San Jose Earthquakes and Saber Cats in addition to Super Bowl Champion 49ers, Dennis Brown and Guy McIntyre (right), joined the celebration for photo ops of a lifetime.

And celebrate they did! 50 smart, thoughtful and deserving (they had to achieve academic success in order to be eligible for their shopping spree) were all smiles as they set out with gift cards and law enforcement buddies to do some holiday shopping. And when I say thoughtful, I mean T-H-O-U-G-H-T-F-U-L, Thoughtful! Many of the kids selected gifts for siblings, parents and other family members before they even looked at anything for themselves! No Grinches here, just a bunch of happy little Santa’s Helpers

Adding icing to the proverbial gingerbread house, the event wasn’t just “cop” exclusive. Many law enforcement officers from SJPD and surrounding Santa Clara County cities participated as well as the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office and the California Highway Patrol. Hats off to SWACSV, and all the honorable officers who protect, serve… and make time to provide a few miracles. Happy Holidays!

Written by Anthony Gonzalez for Child Quest International

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