Monday, December 17, 2012

Annual Event Helps Bring Christmas To Everglades Kids

More than 40 deserving Everglades area children purchased presents for their family members during the eighth annual "Shop With A Cop" event Saturday, Dec. 1.

Susan Gentry, a Collier County Sheriff's Office Crime Prevention specialist, organized the event, sponsored by the Collier County Police Activity League (PAL).

Forty-four children received $100 each to select items for their parents, siblings and a gift for themselves. Around three dozen CCSO members, along with their family members, went shopping with the kids to help them pick out and purchase the items.

The shopping spree began early in the morning when the CCSO members and children met at K-Mart, 4995 Golden Gate Parkway, Golden Gate. Each child was paired up with an agency member and perused the aisles, making sure everyone in the child's family had their gift. Before checkout, each member/child pair met up with a deputy dressed up as the Buddy the Elf character and at the store's Christmas tree display for individual holiday photos.

The children and CCSO members headed over to Gina’s CafĂ© in the Park, 1100 Commercial Boulevard, East Naples where they were greeted with holiday cheer and a free hot dog lunch.

The group made one more stop to an assisted living facility before finally heading home. The children visited the residents of Barrington Terrace, 5175 U.S. 41 East, East Naples, to sing Christmas carols and deliver holiday plants.

Photos by Kristi Lester/CCSO(4)

Photos by Susan Gentry/CCSO(2)