Officers, firefighters take local kids shopping during Holidays and Heroes event

Local police officers, sheriff’s deputies and firefighters spent their Sunday making the holidays a little happier for families in need.

Ten agencies, including the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, the Coeur d’Alene Police Department, Kootenai County Fire & Rescue and Idaho State Police all participated in the Holidays and Heroes event.

How cool is this? Local law enforcement officers took about 100 disadvantaged kids from across the Inland Northwest on shopping sprees for their families this morning, then surprised them with gifts, turkey dinners and pictures with Santa. #HolidaysandHeroes @kxly4news pic.twitter.com/Yol0LKzRsm

— Taylor Graham (@TaylorKXLY) December 8, 2019

The officers and firefighters volunteered their time to pick each child up from his/her home and take them to a nearby Walmart. There, they walked through the store picking out Christmas gifts for the child and his/her family.

“I think it reminds a lot of us wearing a badge exactly why we got into this line of work. We get into this to help people,” said Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich. “A lot of these kids — all they ever see is the negative side of life and the negative side of law enforcement contact. This gives us a chance to show them that it’s a little bit different and there’s much more to being a police officer than what they’ve seen in their lives.”

At one event, in North Idaho, a man in Walmart noticed a deputy shopping with a child and wanted to help. He donated an extra one hundred dollars on the spot.

We live in a GREAT COMMUNITY! Meet Greg (on the right). Greg saw us shopping and wanted to help.
He gave an extra $100 to this child. Should put a little extra under that Christmas Tree. Thanks Greg! pic.twitter.com/eOrZcz1oRn

— Idaho State Police (@ispdistrict1) December 8, 2019

After the shopping trip was complete, the children were driven to the Greyhound facility in Post Falls to visit Santa. While the children spent time meeting with Santa and having their photos taken, volunteers wrapped the presents and prepared large food baskets for the families.

And this is where all those presents go to get wrapped. North Idaho and Spokane County Deputies and Police Officers come together to help kids in need. pic.twitter.com/5XGv2i74aV

— Ozzie Knezovich (@SheriffOzzie) December 8, 2019

Every kid is sent home with a full Christmas Dinner pic.twitter.com/C5EyZLHCHH

— Ozzie Knezovich (@SheriffOzzie) December 8, 2019

Officers and firefighters then loaded the presents and food into their vehicles and took the children home.

The children and families were chosen throughout the year based on input from School Resource Officers and counselors. Patrol officers, deputies and firefighters also nominated children and families in need who they had come across while on the job.