December 13, 2013 - Houston Police Chief Charles A. McClelland, Jr., HPD officers and volunteers joined 20 children affiliated with Harris County Children's Protective Services in a special holiday shopping spree at the Target store at 2580 Shearn Street on Thursday (Dec. 12).
The "Shop with a Cop" event partnered every child with an officer, who helped that child pick out items on his or her holiday wish-list using a $100 gift card donated by Target Stores.
"HPD officers are out on the front lines every day," said Chief McClelland. "They see children and families who are less fortunate than us and they feel the need to do something about it."
"Many of these families are struggling to put food on the table," Chief McClelland added. "They do not have the income or the extra income or resources to buy the kids toys or anything like that."
The children, all pre-selected by CPS, ranged in age from 5 to 12.
For officers like HPD Sergeant Chris Baltazar, this spirit of giving is personally touching.
"It means the world to me to see these kids," he said. "My kids have the luxury of being able to go out and shop, and I'm thankful for that. So, to give back to these kids in our community, who may not have the same things my kids do, it just warms my heart."
For the kids, it was a morning of excitement. Some had officers sing Christmas carols while pushing them in the shopping carts. Others had officers help them pick out items from their lists- both fun and practical.
One participant, 7-year-old Chris, excitedly listed his Christmas gifts.
"A Monopoly game, a Lego game, some headphones, and some clothes, socks and shoes," he said.
This is the third year HPD, Target Stores and Harris County CPS have teamed up to make the holidays a little brighter for disadvantaged children in our community.
For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.