Cops help shop for Christmas

Published 8:45 pm Monday, December 17, 2018

Members of the Fraternal Order of the Police Lodge 41 strolled through Walmart with kids on Friday to help them pick out their Christmas gifts.

The annual Cops and Kids event lets law enforcement officers shop with children that wouldn’t otherwise receive very much or anything at all. The purchases were paid for by donations the lodge has collected throughout the year.

“There is nothing better than watching them be so happy to get something that they wouldn’t have the opportunity for otherwise,” said FOP member and Suffolk Sheriff’s Deputy Sandy Toby.

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Toby and the other officers were able to shop with more than 20 children, and each child had a budget of roughly $100. The officers encouraged them to get exactly what they wanted, but they also encouraged them to get clothes and winter jackets.

Part of the event that always surprises the officers is how willing the children are to buy presents for their families.

“Every child buys for their families,” said FOP member and Suffolk Sheriff’s Deputy Debbie Callis. “The best thing are the kids’ faces when they realize they can get something for their mom or dad.”

Summer Bennett, 6, and Caleb Daigle, 7, pushed around full carts through the toy aisles of Walmart to make sure they could find the perfect presents for Christmas Day.

Summer found almost every single baby doll Walmart had to offer and excitedly placed them in the cart. Her great-aunt had never seen her so happy.

“It’s amazing. We got to tell her that she could get anything she wants,” said her great-aunt, Felicia Artis.

Caleb was more methodical with his choices, and he was the happiest when he found the Batman castle to bring home. When his mother, Nicole Daigle, suggested shoes, he didn’t hesitate to say he wanted ones that could light up.

“I’ve never had a full cart before,” Caleb said. “I’ve wanted light-up shoes since my whole life started.”

Having the chance to get Christmas presents with the Fraternal Order of Police was a weight off Daigle’s shoulders this holiday season.

“It’s amazing. Sometimes you can’t do what you want for them, and this lets him get presents,” Daigle said.

Being able to help these children is important for the officers, and it gives them the opportunity to reflect on the holidays.

“We take for granted that we can do this every year,” Callis said. “So it’s great to see the excitement on their faces.”