The Lake County Sheriff’s Office held its eighth annual ‘Shop with a Sheriff’ event on Tuesday taking almost 90 underprivileged children shopping for Christmas presents.
The program benefited a total of 88 children by providing them an opportunity to shop for items such as winter coats, footwear, and Christmas presents with a uniformed member of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office or Lake County Coroner’s Office.
The children who participated were from Lake County elementary and middle schools. An application process which helped identify financial need was determined by school district officials.
“Shop with a Sheriff is one of my favorite events. Getting to eat pizza with the children, seeing them make their Christmas wishes to Santa, then going with a uniformed member of the sheriff’s office or coroner’s office is heartwarming. I am very proud of everyone who makes this event possible,” Sheriff John Idleburg said.
Each child shopper had an approximate $100 limit, which was funded completely by donations, the sheriff’s office said. There was over $12,000 donated from Lake County residents and businesses, and leftover money will be added to next year’s funds.
“Participating law-enforcement acted as chaperones to help the junior shoppers make sound decisions and assisted them in keeping track of how much they spent,” Lake County Sheriff Sgt. Christopher Covelli said.
The event began in the evening at Grayslake North High School in Grayslake. The children visited with Santa and had a photo with him. The kids were able to eat, play games and enjoy themselves while waiting their turn to shop, Covelli said.
The kids were then given a ride to the Round Lake Beach Walmart where they were able to shop.
“Year after year, it is so warming to see the joy on the children’s faces while spending an evening with law-enforcement. The kids are so excited to select clothing and gifts for themselves and family members,” Deputy Mark Vice, who organized the event, said.
“I can’t thank all of our volunteers enough for making this event successful year after year,” Vice added.