BLUEFIELD, VA (WVVA) -- 27 kids and more than 50 volunteers filled the aisles of the Bluefield, Virginia Walmart Saturday morning for the Police Department's annual 'Shop with a Cop' campaign.
With the help of donations from local business, organizations, and community members, all 27 participants received $200 to spend.
"We've really enjoyed doing this with the kids because this is an opportunity for us to interact with children who have needs, and sometimes maybe won't even have a Christmas other than what they get here with us," said Patrolman Frank Horn of the BVPD.
"The families are always so appreciative, and they kids just have a ball," he said. "And we, as police officers, we have such a good time with this channel because it's not like a normal police encounter. This is one that we look forward to every single year.
Officials at Walmart are grateful to be a part of that interaction.
"We get the joy of seeing the kids coming in and being able to shop and enjoy themselves," said Assistant Manager Derrick Burress.
But aside from gifts, the program offers the kids and their families a positive experience with law enforcement.
"A lot of times the only interaction we have with families is negative interaction," Horn said. "Maybe somebody had a tragedy or a vehicle accident or something. So oftentimes they're in a different state of mind than they are here. This is a very positive way for us to interact. That is part of our commitment to the community and a part of our commitment to this service."