Kids had a chance to both meet their local law enforcement and see Santa arrive in style this Saturday.
Officers took 41 kids shopping for a gift at Shopko stores in Neillsville, Abbotstford, and Stanley through the Shop with a Cop program by Clark County Law Enforcement Association (CCLEA). Each child received an allotted amount that they could spend on a gift for themselves or anyone they wished.
This was followed by a spaghetti lunch for the children’s families at the Loyal Fire Department. Santa arrived with in style, in a Clark County squad car to meet with the children and hand out more gifts.
The gesture not only helps out families in need this season, but gives officers a chance to connect with the community they serve and show kids they’re not so scary after all.
“Not only are some of the kids not wanting to approach us, but some adults don’t want to approach us either,” said Jake Schar, CCLEA president and K9 handler at the Loyal Police Department. “We want to show them, hey, we’re approachable, you can talk to us whenever you need it.”
This year the program worked with Clark County Community Services to identify families with children who could be eligible instead of asking teachers to nominate a student. Siblings are able to shop together if they are 5-10 years old, but either way get to receive a gift at the meal. Many fundraisers make the program possible.