Police departments throughout Lake County are hosting their annual “Shop with a Cop” this month to provide children with clothing and toys during the holiday season.
Shop with a Cop is an event where less fortunate children shop with police officers for the holidays.
The event is made possible through community partnerships, donations and fundraisers.
The Waukegan Police Department held its 13th annual event at the Walmart in Waukegan Saturday morning.
Around 60 children purchased gifts for themselves or others and later had a pizza party at The People’s Choice Family Fun Center in Waukegan.
“We, as a police department, are forever grateful for the opportunity to spread a little joy and bring smiles to the faces of Waukegan’s future generation,” the department said.
“Waukegan Police Department would like to extend a special THANK YOU to Walmart Waukegan for their help and donations to this event, of which would not have been possible without their support,” the department added.
Waukegan Mayor Ann Taylor said that it amazes her to see some of the kids wanting to shop for their families and not themselves. “We had a great day of holiday spirit,” she said.
The Gurnee Police Department held its event at Gurnee Mills, where over 80 children were treated to food, toys, clothes, music and a visit from Santa.
The department said their “hearts are full of happiness and cheer” as the event wrapped up Sunday.
“All of this would not be possible without the continued support and donations from the community throughout the year. A special thank you to Gurnee Mills for hosting the event and our additional sponsors, Kaiser’s Pizza & Pub Gurnee, Starbucks @Gurnee Mills Mall, IL, Forbidden Sweets, Inc, Gurnee CPA Alumni Association, 102.3 XLC,” the Gurnee Police Department said.
The Round Lake Beach Police Department held its event last Monday for the first time in two years.
Sailors with the Naval Station Great Lakes and College of Lake County police officers joined the North Chicago Police Department in providing over 40 families with gifts and food.
The Antioch Police Department partnered with the Raymond Auto Group for their Shop with a Cop event.
Over 50 children enjoyed pizza and a visit from Santa. They were then escorted to Walmart to shop for gifts.
Officials say the program would not be possible without the partnerships and fundraisers from the community.
“The Antioch community never fails to amaze me with its generosity,” Antioch Police Chief Geoffrey Guttschow said.
“Mark Scarpelli and his staff at the Raymond Auto Group continue to step up and support this program with time and money. Without Mark’s support, ‘Shop with a Cop’ would not happen. His generosity has allowed us to grow the shopping spree amount per child from $100 to $125, plus each family will be provided a $100 gift card toward a traditional holiday meal,” Guttschow added.
The Grayslake Police Department said its officers helped spread holiday cheer to 29 kids from Grayslake and Hainesville.
Officers in Lake Villa shopped with 44 children and their canine, Atticus, was even suited up in Christmas attire to help put smiles on the childrens’ faces.
Lake Zurich and Hawthorn Woods police officers treated children to a pizza party at the Lake Zurich Volunteer Firefighter’s Hall before riding in a police squad car to the Lake Zurich Target store.
The Lake Zurich event has provided over 150 area children with assistance in the past six years.
The Round Lake Park Police Department said this year was the 26th time they’ve held the Shop with a Cop event.
“Our community has come together to help 54 kids have a more joyous Christmas. It has been and joint effort from our officers, volunteers and local businesses to create a night to remember for children in need,” the police department said.