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‘Shop With a Cop’ brings Christmas early to lucky middle schoolers

Kingston Police are doing their part to spread Christmas cheer, as the annual ‘Shop With a Cop’ returns for its 9th year.

A group of Grade 7 and 8 students were paired with officers to do some holiday shopping at the mall on Wednesday.

And while there are still two weeks until Christmas, it came early for these lucky students.

“I was so excited,” says Jil Olanrewaju, one of the students. “I was yelling and jumping and I told most of my friends.”

As part of the program, thirteen students were chosen from hundreds of applicants.

“We go shopping for them and their families so that they have an exciting Christmas morning,” says Valerie Hurding, community programs officer for Kingston Police.

Each student is given $400, donated by both the Cataraqui Centre mall and private donors.

And Olanrewaju is paying the kindness forward.

“I got my mom a bag, and I got my sister kind of like a fanny pack,” she says.

That isn’t uncommon, according to Hurding.

“It blows my mind how when we’re shopping, they don’t want things for themselves,” she says. “They actually just want to buy for their family, and we have to encourage them to get things for themselves so that they can also have something under the tree to open at Christmas.”

Although Olanrewaju did buy some presents for herself.

“Right now, I really want to get an album,” she says. “I got two books for myself that I really wanted to read for a very long time.”

But the real gifts are the smiles and Christmas cheer this program has brought for another year.

“These are really nice moments,” says Hurding. “I’m proud to be part of it.”

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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