'Shop with a Cop' brings smiles to needy children

Christmas came early for dozens of local kids who might not otherwise have anything under the tree.

Thursday night was the sixth annual “Shop with a Cop” event at the Lynnwood Fred Meyer. Thirty under-privileged children were each paired with an officer and given a gift card to spend as they chose.

6-year-old Jacob had no trouble picking out what he wanted. He grabbed the hand of Detective Greg Jamison and headed straight for the toy section.

His mom Maggie told us the event will make all the difference this holiday season.

“It means a lot because without it I wouldn’t have anything else. It provides something for Christmas,” she said.

The 20 single mothers, who live at the YWCA Pathways for Women shelter, were each given a gift card of their own. Rather than buying something for herself, Maggie picked out a game and window crayons for Jacob.

“It’s enough for me to watch him. Having him excited is my gift,” she said with a smile.

Police spokesperson Shannon Sessions says “Shop with a Cop” helps foster a good relationship between the officers and children, whose only experience with them might have been under negative situations.

“This encourages positive fellowship between the officers and kids who don’t normally get to see this side of the officers,” she said.

The money was provided by the Lynnwood Police Officers Association, which held a garage sale two summers ago.

It was clear the officers got just as much joy out of the event as the children. Detective Jamison and Jacob settled on a toy Army rifle, a Lego set and Star Wars toy.

And when Jacob’s gift card came up a little short, Detective Jamison pulled out his own wallet to cover the difference.

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