16th Day: Shop with a Cop

  On the 16th day of our 25 Days of Christmas we helped the less fortunate by volunteering at Shop with a Cop as a family.
  For those who aren’t familiar, Shop with a Cop is put on by police departments and the community.  Money is raised throughout the year and then within a week or so of Christmas the uniformed officers bring the children shopping for Christmas.  Each department has their own rules for what the children can get, at  Brad’s department the only rules are that the children get one thing that they need, keep the total around $150, and then anything else is free game.  Many of the police bring their families to help wrap the presents, offer help with the children, and so the police children can get a feeling for helping others.
  The day started with Brad going to the police breakfast with the children while Tricia and I got ourselves and Marshall ready.  Marshall is not a morning person.  After the breakfast Brad came and picked us all up and we headed to the store.

Aunt Tricia & Marshall at Shop with a Cop 2012
  The kids were all excited and a little shy.  The kids that we went shopping with were brothers and they recognized Brad from a time where he came to their house before.  It broke my heart to hear them say they knew Brad from when Brad came to their house when their dad was drunk and unruly, but the boys seemed more appreciative about Brad and the situation.  They said their dad left now and this is their very FIRST Christmas- they are in upper elementary school.  It was days like today that I realize just how special my husband is and the impact he makes in his community.
  The boys knew exactly what they wanted so shopping went by fairly quick.  The boys were so excited and well-behaved, I felt very lucky to be able to be there and see my husband with these two boys who saw him as if he were Superman.

Brad doing Shop with a Cop 2012

Brad’s police department had their own register so we didn’t have to stand in lines and then Walmart let us use a space in their backroom to wrap presents quickly for the children.  Afterwards the kids all left and the police and their families all hung out for awhile.

Marshall loved playing with the other little boys from the department (for some reason there are a lot of older daughters but the sons are all young).  Little Landon and Marshall were running around in the baby toys as Brad’s Major laughed and tried to get Marshall to let him hold him (he did).

Some of Brad’s Department

It was a great time- Marshall ate up all the attention from all the other officers and their kids, Brad was able to see some kids he helped and they were so excited to see him again, and I loved being a part of a very special first Christmas for some awesome little guys.

It just so happened that we all had the 16th off as well.  Something that is rare in our house of 3 adults with 3 different job schedules.  It was also Sunday so that meant Sunday Dinner.  We made it fun by making a homemade snowman pizza (chicken alfredo pizza) complete with tomato eyes & mouth and chive buttons & nose; for dessert we made melted snow ball cupcakes (hot chocolate cupcakes with marshmallow frosting).  Hey even though Missouri doesn’t have snow right now we can still make snowmen and snowballs- and this kind you can actually eat without fear of any surprises!

Snowman chicken alfredo pizza and snowball  hot cocoa cupcakes

After dinner we watched the interfaith vigil for those lost at Sandy Hook.  It was a beautiful service and very sobering to watch.  Our family continues to pray for all of those effected, our nation, and to try to find ways to prevent this from happening again.

The 16th day was a fun day of helping others and hearing what a great officer my husband is and how gentle and fun he is with the kids he encounters on the job.  I look forward to bringing Marshall in the future and him learning what a gift it is to give to others and help those in need.  I hope that someday Marshall can see what a special job his daddy has and what great men and women he works with.  I feel so lucky to be able to have my son around this wonderful group of people.

I also want to urge anyone looking for charities to donate to- look up your local police department and ask if you can make a donation to their Shop with a Cop program.  Local children love the opportunity to get what they really want and need and the police that have to deal with so much pain and suffering can get to put a smile on children’s faces.  I cannot say enough how special this program is!  






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