Several dozen disadvantaged students from Sutter County were treated to a shopping spree at Walmart on Tuesday evening as part of the annual Shop with a Cop event put on by the Sutter Deputy Sheriff’s Association.
The event has been going on for 12 years. This year, a total of 37 local children were accompanied by members of the association, as well as the Sutter County Sheriff’s Office, Mounted Posse, Reserve Association and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“This event is for underprivileged kids that don’t get a lot during the holidays. We reach out to the schools in Sutter County who help choose the most in-need students,” said Daisy Becerra, event organizer and correctional officer at the Sutter County Jail.
As part of the event, the children are given a $100 gift card to spend on themselves. Each student is assisted in their shopping expedition by a uniformed officer. Once they selected the items, they were taken to the front of the store where members of the Yuba City Kiwanis Club were there to help wrap the gifts.
“The shopping experience provides the perfect opportunity for the officers to build a relationship with the children and families there,” Becerra said. “It brings us all closer together and helps the officers develop a bond with members of the public. It’s definitely a positive experience for everyone.”
The theme of this year’s event was Toy Story, and participants were given shirts that represented different characters from the animated film.
The event has grown dramatically over the years, from the number of students it provides gifts for to the support it’s received from the community, Becerra said. Next year, they plan to expand it even more.
“My favorite part is just seeing the children’s smiles and excitement when they go shopping,” Becerra said.
Local sponsors of the event include Rush Personnel Services, Inc., Yuba City Kiwanis Club Foundation, Sutter County Sheriff’s Posse, Sutter Deputy Sheriff’s Association, Sutter Orchard Supply, Chuck and Diana Phillips, Susan E. Green, Colusa Indian Community Council, David and Gina Ashby, Walmart of Yuba City, Sarah H. Heckman, William and Dawn Houser, Phillip Binstock, Jaskaran Sahota, and Adventist Health and Rideout.