Shop with a Cop warms hearts
by Paisley Boston
Dec 18, 2013 | 1595 views | 0 0 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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The Cleveland Police Department brightened the eyes of many deserving children Tuesday during the department's annual "Shop with a Cop" program.

Cpt. Mike McCain stood at the door of a local shopping center in Cleveland awaiting children that were selected to receive gift cards.

Most of the children did not bother walking, they galloped into the store and when they saw McCain, they smiled from ear to ear.

"Santa Claus gave me some money to give to you and he said that you can buy whatever you want," said McCain as he handed the cards to various children.

Once the cards were placed in their merry little hands, they headed straight for the toy aisle.

According to McCain he was more anxious to give the gift cards than the children were to receive them.

"I don’t have much hair but when I hand the children the cards, the little hair that I do have stands up," said McCain.

"I had one family that came in and they just melted my heart. I kneeled down to give a little boy the gift card and he looked at me and said, ‘I love you,’" added McCain.

Various families throughout Bolivar County took part in this joyous occasion and they were grateful to McCain.

The program services children between the ages of 3-12 and parents are allowed to shop along with law officials.

Each child is given a $50 gift card and permitted to purchase any item that they desire within reason.

According to McCain, the police department will give gift cards to over 100 children this week, ending on Saturday.

Each day, a total of 15 children get the chance to dash through the shopping center.

"There was a particular family that had four children and I only had gift cards for three of them. I heard one of the children say to the fourth child, ‘We are all going to put our money together to buy you something too,’ that really warmed my heart," said McCain.

Although the children reaped the benefits of shopping, the parents were overjoyed as well.

"The Cleveland Police Department literally made my son's Christmas. Whenever my son and I go places, I allow him to pick out things that he likes but never of this magnitude," said parent Judy Williams.

"This is one of the nicest things that anyone has ever done and I am so grateful," she added.

McCain said that in the past, things were done a little differently.

"I use to have all of the children who were receiving the gift cards to meet me in one central location in the shopping center on the same day, but I wanted it to be a little more personal and that is why I narrowed it down to 15 per day," he said.

"It was definitely a sight to see! After I would pass out all of the cards, it was like a race. All of the children would just run to the toy aisles and then I would see all of them at various registers checking out," he added.

McCain said that as a child, he was allotted the opportunity to pick out at least one toy that he wanted for Christmas and he feels that all children should have that same chance.

The Cleveland Police Department will continue to be "Santa's little helpers" for the remainder of the week at 4 p.m. each day until Saturday.