(BIVN) – Keiki had the chance to go on a holiday shopping spree alongside Hawaiʻi Police officers at the Target store in Hilo on Saturday.
A total of 53 kids participated in the 4th Annual Shop with a Cop, a “collaborative, community event” coordinated by Catholic Charities Hawai‘i. Organizers say the special event “brings much needed holiday joy to at-risk teens and young children during the holidays, while fostering positive relationships between the youth and the officers.” This year’s focus was primarily keiki and youth from the Kaʻū District of Pahala, Waiohinu, Naʻalehu and Ocean View. Young shoppers are recruited and invited based on need.
According to the event organizers, the kids shop with a $100 budget, with funds raised by Catholic Charities Hawaii, Target Corporate, the Pahoa VFW Post 3930 and Auxiliary, the Hilo VFW Post 3875, HELCO, Safeway and Masazo Pig Farm In Kaʻu. JeiAngel Digital Design provides a Christmas photo and video booth for the event. Creative Arts provides the T-shirt design. For the first time this year, each youth got an additional $50 to shop for new shoes provided by Pacific Solar Technologies, LLC.
After shopping and checking out at a designated register, the officers escorted the kids to the party room where they enjoyed a brunch.
Over 30 Kamehameha Hawaii High School students and Hawaii Electric Light employees spent the morning wrapping and tagging all the gifts, “because they usually shop for their family members before themselves,” organizers noted. Target provided all the gift wrap, ribbon, tags, bags, tissue, scissors and tape. Christmas music was provided by Kahu Brian Kaunaloa Boshard and a group of Kamehameha High School students. Also, 20 Hawaiʻi Air National Guard volunteers provided assistance.
This year’s event made possible by these generous donors:
- Catholic Charities Hawaiʻi
- Hawaiʻi Police Department
- Target Stores
- Pacific Solar Technologies, LLC
- Veterans of Foreign War Pahoa VFW Post 3830 and Auxiliary
- Veterans of Foreign War Hilo VFW Post 3875
- Hawaiʻi Electric Light
- Masazo Pig Farm
- Jei Angel Digital Design