Thomasville-- Fifteen enthusiastic kids filed into Wal-mart, each paired with a police officer and armed with a hundred dollars that was theirs to spend. "This is just one of the many programs the Thomasville Police Department does to give back to the community that supports us so much," said Officer Terry Whigham. They set out with one goal in mind: "Shopping!" Keri Dupree said.
But with many different items on ther list. Porsha Freeman wanted "shoes and toys." A "Playstation!" chimed in Tristan Cane. And Laurin Williams said she wanted "clothes and ear rings." All of these, plus bikes and many other presents quickly filled up carts ensuring these kids a merrier Christmas than they may have seen otherwise. "I got to pick a lot of stuff that I want that my parents probably wouldn't be able to get me," said Williams.
But there's more to this event than the material aspect. Officers say many children grow up being scared of police. This experience is a gift that will last them a lifetime. "This gives them a chance to know officers on a more personal level. Let them know they can approach us, talk to us. We're normal people we just have a job to do," said Whigham.
The pairs also shared a meal together, giving them some bonding time the kids took advantage of. "You can learn more, like if you want to be a cop you can learn more about them," said Freeman. Both aspects of the program are something these kids won't soon forget.
Wal-Mart also helped out by donating food baskets and clothing to each child.