Cops spread Christmas spirit
Published: December 6, 2006 | 5163rd good news item since 2003
Five-year-old Makiah Shad of Sheboygan had a long list of people she wanted to shop for on Tuesday evening at Target.
As Makiah pushed a red shopping cart that towered over her head, she chattered her way through a list of people she had to get something for — her school bus driver, teachers, grandparents and parents.
“Santa’s bringing me stuff,” Makiah said when asked why she wasn’t using the money she received through the Shop with the Cop program to buy anything for herself.
Makiah was among the 65 kids who took part in this year’s Sheboygan County Law Enforcement Association’s 10th annual Shop with a Cop Christmas program for underprivileged children Tuesday night.
Sixty law enforcement officials from Sheboygan, Sheboygan Falls, Kohler, Plymouth and various county departments volunteered to be paired with a child or a family for the evening at a pizza party at Lakeshore Lanes, 2519 S. Business Drive. Their photos were taken with Santa Claus and then they rode in squad cars to Target, 4028 Highway 28.
“It is really a special event that offers a great opportunity for us law enforcement personnel to connect with the community,” Sheboygan County Sheriff Mike Helmke. “We like to have as many officers as we do children … We even encourage our officers to bring their families along.”
The Shop with a Cop program has hosted about 550 children over the years. Each child was given $100 to spend. Families with three or more children were given a limited spending amount, he said.
The program is financed through fundraisers and private donations, Helmke said.
Many of the children shopping at Target had the same ideas in mind — necessity, practicality and family.
Ayla Kasimoff, 13, of Sheboygan was in the men’s hat section deciding whether she should get a black corduroy cap with a white skull embroidered on it.
“Just kinda for clothes ’cause I’m kinda in need of them,” Ayla said about what she was looking for.
Thomas Pointer, 12, of Sheboygan first went through the men’s clothing aisles and picked up a forest-green terry cloth robe, a long sleeve blue striped shirt and a pair of khakis to wear to church and for Christmas Day at his grandmother’s house.
Along the way, Thomas picked up “Need for Speed,” which he said is a “nonviolent” Xbox video game. His last stop was the toy section, where he said he was looking for things he was into.
“Like a nice remote-control car … to race my brother ’cause I know he’s gonna get one,” Thomas said.
All Dominic Scott, 5, of Plymouth had in his cart was a soft pink plush doll and plush rattle that resembled a bug.
“I picked it (out) for my sister,” Dominic said about the gifts that were for his 1-year-old sister, Justice. “I (am) gonna open it for the baby.”