Police officers join students to buy holiday gifts for their families

Stacey Sager Image
Friday, December 10, 2021
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Stacey Sager has more on the 'Shop with a Cop' event in Westbury.

WESTBURY, Long Island (WABC) -- The holiday season was made brighter for the families of 50 children on Long Island thanks to Nassau County police officers.

The "Shop with A Cop" event held Thursday in Westbury paired students from the Westbury School District with police officers to shop for holiday gifts for their families.

The NCPD's Leo the Lion and police officers dressed as superheroes helped kick off the event.

The Nassau County Police Department Foundation donated $150 per student for the shopping spree.

"I'm buying things for my family because they have done a lot of things for me and now I have to do something for them," student Ingrid Escamilla. "I never did that before, so it feels special to me, and I'm proud because I am buying them gifts."

Many of them, whose parents are just working hard to put food on the table, much less have time, or money for holiday toys. And so 11-year-old Genesis made her doll selection very carefully.

"A doll that I can play with, cause I don't have siblings..I"m all alone," she said. "And on Saturday, when my parents go to work, I stay alone."

But perhaps even more touching?

"I'm buying things for my family because they have done a lot of things for me, and now I have to do something for them," Genesis said.

For the police department - it's obvious to see why the cops line up to volunteer.

"It's helping us build bridges in our communities and our relationships, but it's also letting those kids know that look, we're on the good side," said Commissioner Patrick Ryder.

ALSO READ: Kids shop with police officers for toys for themselves, young hospital patients on Long Island

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