HomeSudbury News

Shopping with Cops a bonding opportunity for children, police

By: Arron Pickard - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Dec 04, 2013 - 3:18 PM |
Const. Brenda Sarafin dishes out some syrup for her shopping buddy, 11-year-old Jasmine, who was one of 24 youth participating in the sixth annual Shopping with Cops event on Dec. 4. Photo by Arron Pickard.

Const. Brenda Sarafin dishes out some syrup for her shopping buddy, 11-year-old Jasmine, who was one of 24 youth participating in the sixth annual Shopping with Cops event on Dec. 4. Photo by Arron Pickard.

The best part of the annual Shopping with Cops event is watching the children buy presents — not for themselves, though.

Greater Sudbury Police Chief Frank Elsner said it is heartwarming knowing the 24 children involved with the annual program care more about buying gifts for their brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers than for themselves. And, armed with $150 each, it would be easy for children to buy something they wanted.

“This is one of the events I look most forward to,” Elsner said. “Every year, in the six years this has been happening, the children want to shop for their family first. It's really humbling. These kids get it. They don't have a lot to begin with, and they are thinking of other before themselves.”

Pat and Mario's provided breakfast for all the children and police officers, while Target covered the taxes for all purchases, and a number of businesses kicked in funds to make the event another success. Most of the funding for $150 gift cards comes from the Chief's Youth Initiative Fund.

Sgt. Joanne Pendrak, who, along with Sgt. Marj Jeffery, has been organizing the event since Day 1, said Sudbury's Shopping with Cops event stems from a smaller, similar program from Sault Ste. Marie.

“I started looking into it, and aside from Sault Ste. Marie, I couldn't find any other city doing something like this,” she said. “Every community has kids that deserve a break, and Sudbury is no different. This is about making their lives just a little bit happier, and to make that positive connection between them and the police — that goes a long way.”

These are children who otherwise might not have the opportunity to go shopping for their family at Christmas, she said. But, the ultimate goal is to build that bond between the children and the officers so, hopefully, it will help them make positive life decisions in the future.

“We wish we could pull every kid out of the woodwork and give them this opportunity, but we have 24, and that's 24 more children who will be happy at Christmas,” she said.

Every kid also walked away with a new backpack filled with such items as chocolate bars, police souvenirs and movie passes.
Arron Pickard

Arron Pickard

Staff Writer

@ArronPickard

Reader's Feedback

NorthernLife.ca may contain content submitted by readers, usually in the form of article comments. All reader comments and any opinions, advice, statements or other information contained in any messages posted or transmitted by any third party are the responsibility of the author of that message and not of NorthernLife.ca. The fact that a particular message is posted on or transmitted using this web site does not mean that NorthernLife.ca has endorsed that message in any way or verified the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message. We encourage visitors to NorthernLife.ca to report any objectionable content by using the "report abuse" link found in the comments section of this web site. Comment Guidelines


comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular

Local Business Directory