MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) — Children at Merced get to choose gifts from their Christmas list for free.
Merced police officers became Santa’s helpers at the annual “Shop with a Cop” event.
The department took 19 children from the Merced Mall shopping center on Monday morning.
From kindergarten through eighth grade, each student received approximately $200 in toys and gifts for themselves and their families.
They also got to take pictures with Santa.
Merced PD has been doing “shop and cop” for the past decade.
In conjunction with the shopping event, the department plans to give gifts to hundreds of children by using their toys.
It is a cause specific to one officer.
“Once when I was a child I got a toy like the one we are making,” said Rosa Alcaraz. “Now, I’m on the other side, able to give a toy to a child who might need it this year.”
The department says it has 350 requests but they still need new unwrapped toys.
There are drop off locations throughout Merced, including the Merced Mall.
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