Shop with a Cop makes Christmas merry for Craig kids, families
As snow swirled around outside Saturday, Dec. 14 in Craig, the spirit of the holiday season was brimming inside Walmart.
The annual Shop with a Cop Christmas program saw members of Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, Craig Police Department, Colorado State Patrol and Colorado Parks and Wildlife pair up with 15 local kids to hit the aisles and load up shopping carts with Christmas gifts, allotted $100 each.
An ongoing anonymous donation combined with yearly community contributions has allowed law enforcement to keep the yuletide program going, said Moffat County Sheriff KC Hume.
“Lots of thanks to all the people across our community who make this happen, year in, year out,” Hume said.
Besides supplying cops with Santa-themed headwear for the morning, Walmart also provided gift-wrapping and refreshments for shoppers.
“It’s a great experience to be part of, I’ve been involved in it every year,” said Walmart staff member Brooke Sanfratello. “It’s nice to see their smiling faces and how excited and happy they get.”
Local elementary schools recommended several young students for the day, as did Boys & Girls Club of Craig, with Tanya Ferguson of the organization bringing kids to Walmart.
“One of our kiddos was pretty excited about it,” Ferguson said. “She said, ‘Why did you pick us?’ and we told her, ‘because we love you.'”
Jessica Stroud joined 7-year-old son Jonathan Martin and his entourage as they combed the shelves of the toy section.
“He was so excited, I’m surprised he even slept last night,” she said. “It’s a lot of excitement getting to see all the policemen.”
Sheriff’s Deputy Alyssa Rollins joined Raina Rinker, 9, for the shopping spree, with selections such as a tea set, a “Pac-Man” video game, and a hairstyle toy featuring Elsa from “Frozen.”
The pair were also on the hunt for a DVD of Pixar’s “Ratatouille.”
“We never watched it, but I always wanted to, so I want to find it,” Raina said.
Disney items were also big for 6-year-old Jolynn Morchak, picking out dolls such as Rapunzel from “Tangled.”
Her mom, Amanda, encouraged her to spend wisely and get a good value.
“We’re just looking forward to hanging out together for Christmas,” Amanda said of the family’s upcoming plans.
Children also kept others in mind while finding toys and clothes for themselves, with many selecting items for siblings and parents.
Hume and CPD’s Ryan Fritz helped 5-year-old Andrew Isaac Miller pick out a classic Godzilla action figure for his father and a plush blanket for his mother.
For his brother, Andrew picked out toys they could share, including a toy army tank set and Nerf guns.
“He got two Nerf guns that match and a total of 400 bullets,” Fritz said.
Paired with 7-year-old Cheyenne Gray, CPW’s Jeff Gonçalves helped her fill up a cart with plenty of items he’s likely to see in coming holidays as a father of a daughter born earlier this year.
The first time participating in Shop with a Cop was quite the heartwarming experience, he said.
“Just the joy in their faces is great,” Gonçalves said.