McHenry County Police Charities, ISP, and over 180 Police Officers Volunteer to Bring Smiles and Toys to Youth
Elgin - The Illinois State Police (ISP) joined local law enforcement agencies throughout McHenry County early Sunday, December 4, 2011, at Walmart locations in Crystal Lake and Johnsburg to participate in the 18th Annual Shop with a Cop Christmas program. The officers were paired up with nearly 200 children, ages 5 to 15, and chaperoned them during their Christmas shopping spree that started at 7 a.m. and lasted approximately two hours.
More than $40,000 was donated to the McHenry County Police Charities to support the program which enabled each child to receive $150 to spend on toys, dolls, Legos, bicycles, clothes, shoes, movies, and food. Additionally, each child received a coat, hat, boots, and gloves. After the shopping spree, the Troopers and children enjoyed breakfast at De Andrea’s Banquet in Crystal Lake where Santa and his helpers wrapped the shopping spree gifts for the children to take home. The children were also treated to a visit with Santa.
“Every ISP Trooper who has participated in this program leaves with an overwhelming feeling of joy knowing they brought a smile to a child’s face,” said District 2 Master Sergeant Amy Pelletier. “The time spent with these children, and the gifts they were able to buy, will be a lasting memory for them during this holiday season,” she added.
For the last 18 years, the ISP has partnered with local communities and police charities to provide aid to underprivileged children throughout Illinois. Law enforcement officials also use the holiday season to establish a positive bonding experience between residents in the community and the police.
Walmart and several community organizations, including the Lions Club, community residents, and area restaurants contributed to the program. De Andres Banquet and 31 North provided the food for the breakfast and closed their business for the morning for the program festivities.