By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Dearborn Public Schools students shopped until they dropped with Dearborn police officers and firefighters during their annual Shop With a Hero event Dec. 18.
About 40 deserving children met up with police officers and firefighters at Walmart, 5851 Mercury Drive, ready to shop with their $100 gift cards.
The event is held in collaboration with the Dearborn Police Charity Organization and the Dearborn Firefighters Burn Drive.
Children were given their gift cards and paired with a police officer or firefighter to choose gifts for the holiday season.
Children, officers and firefighters filled the toy aisles in search of the perfect Christmas gifts.
Police Chief Ronald Haddad was paired up with three children from Salina Elementary and Salina Intermediate schools. Brothers Khaled, Majd and Gamal Alsaeeai were eager to get shopping for their gifts.
All three children selected “Star Wars” themed toys, along with helicopters, action figures and race cars.
Khaled, 8, couldn’t hold his excitement and was temped to open his R2-D2 gift as it sat in the shopping cart.
“I can’t wait to go home and play with all my toys,” he said. “Today is the best day for me.”
Fire Chief Joseph Murray and Geer Park Elementary School student Carlee Hawkins, 10, wasted no time, heading straight to the doll isle.
Hawkins took her time selecting dolls, accessories and sand machine before debating on purchasing a battery operated puppy toy.
“This event gets better every year,” Murray said. “It’s amazing to spend time with these kids and brighten up their day and Christmas.”
Hana Taha, 10, from Oakman Elementary School was prepared when it came time to hit the aisles and pick out gifts with Police Cpl. Sergio Popescu.
Taha headed straight for a skateboard and helmet before moving on to the art supplies aisle for an art kit including 100 drawing pieces.
Next, she picked up some Easy Bake cupcakes and doughnut kits and a pair of soccer shoes.
“I’m so happy right now,” she said. “I can’t believe I’m going to buy all the toys I wanted.”
Popescu praised Taha’s gift choices calling her “one of the coolest kids ever.”
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)