Kmart's "Shop with a Cop" awards 30 underprivileged children toys for Christmas

December 18, 2012

Every year, Kmart and the Kiwanis clubs of South Maui and Kahului host a program they call, "Shop with a Cop". Thirty less fortunate children are chosen for a shopping spree from families at the Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Center in Wailuku.

More than two dozen Maui police officers volunteer to escort the 30 children to Kmart allowing them to fill their baskets with up to $100 worth of toys.

Officer Gregg Rowe volunteered for the 4th year in a row, escorting a young girl named Jacelynn down the toy isles. 

"She was shy at first," Rowe said. "But after a while, she was talking a lot."

The officers enjoy the opportunity to demonstrate to the kids that their job is only to protect them--not scare them. Officer Edith Quintero, who does community outreach at local schools, claims children often report being afraid of police officers.

"I tell them: 'Police are your friends. Our number one job is to protect and keep you safe,' " said Quintero. "We're able to break that mentality."

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