‘Just really excited’: Kids find Christmas gifts with the help of local law enforcement

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.– Kids in the Inland Northwest had their shopping lists and had some help checking them twice.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies took 30 kids shopping on Sunday morning at Walmart in Spokane Valley. The deputies picked up the kids from home, and they got to fill their carts with whatever they wanted so everyone would have a happy holiday.

“I felt like I was a grown adult, and I could do stuff by myself,” said Blaze Tidwell. He’s 10 years old and shopped for his mom and three sisters.

While Tidwell shopped, Secret Santa’s were looking for special gifts for him. The Holiday and Heroes event is a 20-year tradition that keeps spreading Christmas Cheer.

“It’s just a great event not only for the officers but for the community, for the kids that are involved in this, a chance for them to have a good Christmas and to be able to kind of get into a good place for the holidays,” said Dave Ellis, the police chief for Spokane Valley. “I think everyone needs that right now.”

Gifts aren’t the only things the children got to take home. Every family receives a full meal and everything they need for their holiday dinner.

This event also allows the deputies to check in on the kids and see how school is going. It lets them make meaningful memories with youth in the community. School counselors nominated what students they thought may need a little extra holiday cheer.

“Even though he [his school counselor] told me in October, I was just really excited,” Tidwell added. “I just wanted it to be today.”

Law enforcement in North Idaho also took kids shopping. The event’s made possible by support from Walmart and community donations. Ellis says next year they’re hoping to serve more kids and make the event bigger and better.

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