A motorcycle-riding, blue Santa led an HCISD school bus to the Harlingen Target store on December 16 for the 2nd Annual Shop with a Cop event.
A crowd of officers from the Harlingen Police Department and several community members cheerfully welcomed the 51 fifth graders who would be awarded $100 shopping sprees in recognition of their academic accomplishments.
“We want the children to learn from this experience and to continue working very hard for what they want to accomplish,” Officer Alicia Garcia said.
This event not only provided students an opportunity to do a little Christmas shopping, but they also had the chance to interact with the police officers and community leaders.
“Not all police interactions in the nation are positive, and we want to change that. We want to show these kids that we care about them and we want them to have a positive future,” Chief of Police Jeff Adickes said. “I said this last year, and I am going to say it again. We may be shopping with a future Harlingen Police Officer, a Harlingen Firefighter or Paramedic. So this is a great day for us and these kids.”
After taking a few group photos at the store entrance, the students eagerly pushed their shopping carts into the store. Most of them headed toward the toys section.
In one of the toy aisles, stood a girl, carefully choosing between several options.
“I am buying presents for my family. I don’t know what I want to buy for myself yet,” Sam Houston fifth grader, Merline Garcia said. “My cheeks hurt a lot because I can’t stop smiling. I am so grateful.”
Similar sights could be seen throughout the store in the electronics and clothing departments.
The children brought their day of shopping to a close with pizza and bowling at Bass Pro Shop.
Click here for more photos from the event.