Nassau County cops play Santa; send disadvantaged kids on shopping spree

HEWLETT, Long Island (WABC) -- When someone is financially struggling to make ends meet, buying toys for the kids can sometimes be an unaffordable expense.

But thanks to the police in Nassau County this year, more than 100 children are being treated to their very own Christmas shopping spree at a local store.

Santa Claus usually comes dressed in red and goes to to work after the little ones go to bed.

But for the kids on Long Island, Christmas came early and St. Nick came dressed in dark blue, the colors of Nassau County's Finest.

Nassau County cops paid for more than 100 Long Island homeless and disadvantaged children to go on a shopping spree at Matty's Toy Stop in Hewlett, about $100 worth of gifts for each child.

But the real gift for these parents was seeing huge smiles on the little faces.

"Just to know that they're happy, that's enlightening. And you know, they don't understand a lot of things but just being here and having this opportunity, to be able to get them stuff. It's really cool," said Minoshi Winship.

"I've had a really rough year and a half and you know having 2 kids it's definitely a struggle and it's been a rough year and this is amazing. This is a Christmas miracle," said another parent, Jenna Thompson.

And just in case children's kids toys weren't enough, Nassau County cops also rolled out the grown up toys.

From SWAT team trucks to police horses to K-9's, they were all on display outside the toy store for the little kids to see.

Charles Grubs is living in a shelter with his two sons. He says this helps build bridges.

"It breaks down barriers between the citizens and police," said Grubs.

"It's important to know that the police are there not only when you need help, sometimes the bad situations, but we're also there for good situations. We're there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week," said James Carver of the Nassau County PBA.

The Nassau County PBA and Police Foundation paid for all of this. And not only did Matty's Toy Stop shut down the store for these kids, if they went over their $100, Matty's covered the difference.

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