GREAT FALLS – A holiday tradition that sends Great Falls police officers on shopping sprees with kids continued Tuesday evening.
The annual “Shop With a Cop” event pairs officers from the Great Falls Police Department with underprivileged kids who may have experienced or been exposed to a traumatic event.
The kids, who are nominated by schools and agencies, can choose items from toys to clothing with assistance from officers.
The Great Falls Police Protective Association hosts the event, which has no administrative costs meaning 100 percent of donations go directly to helping kids.
The program is now in its 21st year and officers said it’s a highlight for them.
“Christmas is for a lot of people a very happy time, but for a lot of people, it can be a very dark time because of things that have happened in their lives, happened in their past, and anything we can do to improve that this time of year for them is always good,” Officer Kevin Lake said.
Kristen Capps said the event was a learning experience for her two children, 10-year-old Arci and 9-year-old Venessa.
“The smiles on their faces, that’s where it’s at,” she said.
If you’d like to help, mail a check payable to GFPPA to: GFPPA, PO Box 451, Great Falls, MT 59403.
You can also donate online here or drop a check off at the Great Falls Police Department.
Reporting by Natalie McAlpine for MTN News