It’s all about the kids. Officers from Mount Dora Police Department took thirty eager students from three local schools shopping at Target. The students got a one-on-one shopping experience with a police officer and spent a $100 gift card to buy clothes, shoes, or toys. The toys aisle was, no doubt, the most popular.
"I'll be happy with anything," was the response one young child gave when an officer asked him what he wanted for Christmas.
MDPD arranged for a visit from Santa while Target and McDonald’s provided breakfast for the families. The retailer also had snacks, treats and crafts available for the kids. Upon leaving, the families received a shopping cart packed with everything needed for a traditional Christmas dinner and food staples donated by Lake Cares Food Pantry.
Above: Shopping carts packed with Christmas dinner and essentials await the 21 families.
Staff from the local schools and Mount Dora Police Department’s School Resource Officers helped preselect the participants due to their familiarity with the students.
The "Shop with a Cop" program is supported by donations from local citizens and businesses, as well as two “Tip A Cop” fundraisers at Chili’s restaurant. Mount Dora Police also hosted a surprise Christmas party at the police station earlier in the week for four single mothers and their six children who received toys, bikes and a visit from Santa.