– December 26, 2016Posted in: Featured Stories, Stories
Photo by Zeinab Najm. Dearborn Police Cpl. Pattie Burns (left), Alesandra Phillips and DuVall Elementary School kindergartner Willow Phillips, 6, shop for Christmas gifts Dec. 21 at Walmart, 5851 Mercury Drive. The annual Shop With a Hero is an annual collaboration with the Dearborn Police Charity Organization, Dearborn Firefighters Burn Drive and Walmart. This year more than 40 Dearborn middle school-age or younger disadvantaged children had the opportunity to participate and purchase gifts with officers and firefighters.
DEARBORN – The Dearborn Walmart was the place to shop when the Police and Fire departments joined to provide Christmas gifts for 43 underprivileged children at the Shop with a Hero event sponsored by Dearborn Police Charities, Dearborn Firefighters Burn Drive and a grant from the Walmart Foundation.
“We started with 12 kids about 10 years ago with ‘Shop with a Cop,’’’ said Police Detective Mike Maurier, one of the organizers. “About five years ago, we partnered with the Fire Department and ‘Shop with a Cop’ grew into ‘Shop with a Hero.’”
Cpl. Foyid Mockbil, police liaison officer to the Dearborn Public Schools, worked with the school district to identify elementary-age school students who were in need.
Several police officers and firefighters turned out to help the children shop, wrap gifts and assist at checkout.
Walmart provides gift cards for each child through the program and the police and fire charities also fund a significant portion of the annual event.
“Seeing the joy in the children makes it all worth it,” Maurier said. “We like to be able to help the kids have some fun and enjoy the holidays.”
Maurier said some of the children often want to purchase more for their siblings then themselves.
“These kids are so great,” Maurier said. “Many of them don’t think of themselves when they are shopping. We have to remind them to pick out some things they want for Christmas. They pay it forward.”