Nineteen deserving kids spent the morning of Saturday, December 4 at the Battle Ground Walmart shopping for gifts for their families and items for themselves. Accompanying the kids were their shopping partners – ten of Battle Ground’s finest who volunteer for this very special Shop with a Cop assignment.
Participating children were nominated for the Shop with a Cop program for their exemplary citizenship and academic efforts by staff from Battle Ground Public Schools and Rocksolid Teen Center.
Each child was granted a $130 gift card, as much time as they needed to shop with their cop, and the helpful assistance from a Walmart store associate.
Battle Ground’s annual Shop with a Cop would not be possible without the ongoing support of the Walmart Foundation who, this year alone, provided a $2,500 Walmart Community Grant to fund the program. This is Walmart’s 7th year of supporting Battle Ground’s Shop with a Cop program.
“Giving back to the community is one of the greatest joys of the holiday season, and Battle Ground Walmart is proud to support local kids in need,” said Walmart Store Manager Brandi Quinlan. “It’s heartwarming to see just how much our associates and the Battle Ground Police Department can help brighten the season for kids and families in our community.”
The smiles of the kids and the cops, as well as the shoppers who witnessed the activities, reflected the joy of the holiday season. Several bystanders, touched by the occasion, opened their wallets giving $160 in donations for next year’s program – enough to sponsor another child.
Shop with a Cop found extra special meaning within the Battle Ground Police Department this year. One of the department’s newest officers, Luke James, participated in this event with another agency when he was just 8 years old. Officer James cited his experience as one of his earliest memories inspiring him toward a career in law enforcement.
“We are so grateful for the support of Walmart and from the community”, said Police Chief Mike Fort, “These kids are absolutely deserving of this special day and our officers appreciate the opportunity to further build relationships with the community we serve. Officer James’ story is a great example of how even one positive connection in a child’s life may carry a lasting impact.”