From video games to school supplies, plush dolls to household essentials, scores of local children and their families got an early taste of the holiday spirit Dec. 10 at the annual Shop with a Sheriff co-hosted with the Jewish Federation of Greater Naples.
The donors-supported shopping event pairs Collier County Sheriff’s deputies working as youth resource officers in local schools with children from those same schools. The 80 children created their own shopping lists and were allotted $100 for themselves or their family members.
Participants were then treated to frozen ice, pizza and of course, visits with Santa.
“Year after year, our partners with the Jewish Federation of Greater Naples make this terrific event possible, and we couldn’t be more grateful,” Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said at the event. “It’s a great opportunity for our deputies to connect with kids in a fun way.”
“Walmart takes great pride in giving back to the community, especially partnering with organizations such as Collier County Sheriff’s Office and the Jewish Federation of Greater Naples to help brighten the days of these families located right here in Southwest Florida,” said Isa Kamara, a Walmart asset protection manager. “We want to give back, so it’s a pleasure for us to do this event.”
The annual shopping excursions, which began in 2015, allow school-assigned deputies to build a rapport with students that extends beyond discipline and patrolling the halls, said Jeffrey Feld, president and chief executive officer of the Jewish Federation of Greater Naples.
“For nearly a decade, these annual shopping excursions have helped lay the foundation for positive community relations between the Sheriff’s Office and local families,” he said. “Seeing the smiles on so the faces of so many children is positively heartwarming.”