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Area kids shop with a Sheriff

This little boy picked out a bear that’s bigger than he is! Photo courtesy of the Kent County Sheriff Department.

This little boy picked out a bear that’s bigger than he is! Photo courtesy of the Kent County Sheriff Department.

On Sunday, December 11, the Kent County Sheriff’s Office hosted their annual Shop with a Sheriff Program at the Cedar Springs Meijer. According to Sgt. Jason Kelley with the Cedar Springs Unit, 32 kids from the Cedar Springs and Kent City school districts were selected to shop with Deputies and experience law enforcement in a nontraditional role. Approximately 35 Deputies volunteered their time to participate in the event.

Kids got to spend some one on one time with Deputies when they “Shopped with a Sheriff” last Sunday at the Cedar Springs Meijer.

Kids got to spend some one on one time with Deputies when they “Shopped with a Sheriff” last Sunday at the Cedar Springs Meijer.

Kelly said that before shopping, the kids were able to ride in police cruiser and play with the lights, sirens and other electronics. After the cruiser ride, each child was placed with a Deputy and they were able to shop throughout Meijer. The children selected items of need, including coats, boots, and clothes. They were able to select some toys as well. Once the shopping was complete, the kids were treated to donuts, juice, and a surprise visit from Santa Claus.

This program started in 2003 and the kids are identified by referrals from the schools. Deputies participate on a volunteer basis and help the kids shop for the items on their list. The program is fully funded through gracious donations made by businesses and members of the community.

Donations for this program can be made to the Kent County Community Action Fund and mailed to:

Kent County Sheriff’s Office

Community Services Unit – Sandi Jones

701 Ball Ave NE

Grand Rapids, MI 49503

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