Santa made an appearance at Red Mill Walmart yesterday!

by Shannon Rubsamen on December 18, 2011

No really, via the Virginia Beach Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #8.  Each year, the FOP asks churches and local schools to send in the names of needy families who are then invited to “Cops and KIDS”.  Each child is assigned an off duty VA Beach police officer or Sheriff’s deputy who holds a $100 gift card allowing the child to choose whatever they want in the store up to that dollar amount.

This was an amazing event which would remind any Scrooge out there about the spirit of Christmas.  Seeing the excitement of the kids with their mouths hanging open trying to figure out what to get was just terrific!

Out of the 42 children shopping this morning, one of the shopping carts stopped me cold.  The boy pushing it around the store was about 12 years old and his cart had mostly clothing.  According to the officer with him, his school nominated him to receive this shopping spree because he wore the same clothes to school every day.

Talk about a reality check.  We take so much for granted in our comfy middle class world.  I’m not saying that my life is perfect but seriously?  The other day I noticed in a Neiman Marcus catalogue that they were selling 4 pieces of 1 inch square cheesecakes decorated like Christmas presents for $110.  Who actually buys that stuff????  How can you if you have a conscience?

I realize that we all make choices in life, but there are families out there that despite hard work, still can’t make ends meet and the kids are suffering.  They suffer not because they don’t have the latest Ipad but because they sleep on a mattress on the floor of a shelter and the concept of “Mom, what’s for dinner” becomes a whole different ball game!  Can you imagine?

I personally have a really hard time donating cash to charities because of the history of mismanagement and fraud in some organizations but I had no problem handing cash to my friend Susan for next year’s group of kids.  I should have known to bring some Kleenex when I volunteered to photograph this event because with all the cops around I sure as hell couldn’t get away with shoplifting any.  

If you would like to contribute funds for next year, please make checks payable to the FOP#8 and write Cops and Kids in the memo section.  100% of the proceeds will go directly to a child in need.  For more information, like where to send the $$, you can contact MPO Doug Zebley at  (Just don’t ask him about his hair)

The reason for my first blog in over a year – pay it forward.  Click here to see more pics!

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