AUBURN, N.Y. (WSYR-TV / WETM-TV) – Central New York cops are helping local kids shop til’ they drop!
Not only is Shop with a Cop an event that helps kids in need, but it’s also a way for law enforcement to engage with the community.
The Auburn Police Department and Auburn Correctional Facility are teaming up for the first time this holiday season.
“This is the best time of the year. We love doing this. You see the enjoyment from the officers and correctional officers. I think we probably enjoy it more than the kids,” said Chief Shawn Butler with the Auburn Police Department.
“It’s great support for the community and that the community knows who we are,” said Officer Joe Villano, President of the Auburn Police Department.
The 12 kids were all chosen from the local school district. Each of them, with a shopping cart and gift list in hand.
“What we try to do is make them purchase gifts for their parents, their siblings and obviously gifts for themselves,” said Villano.
“It gives the kids an opportunity to give to their families as well and sometimes they don’t have the resources to do that,” Butler said.
It’s a ripple effect of giving back and a lesson each of the kids learned on Sunday morning.
“They’re getting the idea to help their family out, and then their friends and stuff like that, so it puts a smile on their face and we enjoy that and that’s what it’s about,” said Villano.
“I like to see when they’re happy, then I feel happy cause they’re happy and if one person is happy, usually the whole family is happy,” said Shyanna Ousoer, a Shop with a Cop participant.
It was a simple collaboration that made for an even bigger and better outcome this year.
For Auburn’s 3rd Annual Shop with a Cop event, not only did the officers’ shop with the kids, they went around Wal-Mart to hand out $50 gift cards to families and shoppers in the store!
The Auburn Police Department and Auburn Correctional Facility Officers also went around local businesses and restaurants Sunday evening to show more random acts of kindness.