Big Hearts at Shop With A Cop 2022
by Rebecka Hoyt, Editor & Photographer
On a cold, and early Saturday, December 3 2022, kids from Buchanan were paired up with local Buchanan City Police Officers, Firefighters from Buchanan City, Township and Bertrand Fire Departments, along with Buchanan City Mayor Sean Denison, City of Buchanan workers and Laura Henkel guidance counselor of Ottawa Elementary School at Walmart in Niles, MI for “Shop With a Cop.” As each kid arrived, they were greeted with hearts, smiles and excitement while telling their shopping partner(s) what they wanted to buy. Then after a group photo, they were “off to the shopping races” as Buchanan City Police Chief Harvey Burnett said.
For this event to be made possible, donations came into the Buchanan City Police Department by the Buchanan-Galien Lions Club, Buchanan Scarecrow Charities, Buchanan American Legion Post #51, Walmart, and private donors and other local businesses that wish to remain anonymous. Some kids went to the clothing departments first for some common everyday items and a Christmas Day shiny outfit. Then, it was the electronics and toy departments! Kids in grades kindergarten – sixth grade had probably the most fun Saturday morning picking out items that brought them joy.
One of the youngest girls, “knew what she wanted, picked it out, put it in the cart, and was done in 30 minutes. Other kids in the past can really take their time,” stated Buchanan City Safety Director Tim Ganus. Each kid had $225 to spend. Shopping carts were filled with: games, toys, clothes, dinosaurs, skateboard, bike helmets, baby dolls, light sabers, laptops, candy, etc….
As they reached their budget, they headed up to the two dedicated “Shop with a Cop” checkout lanes. The kids handed the cashier the payment, carts were loaded up, and then they were treated to a donut and juice from Walmart as well as a cookie and water from Subway at the other end of the store as they rested their feet and waited for their families to pick them up.
The excitement did not stop there as a couple of kids got to see what it was like in the cop car! Owners Joe Paolucci & Tom Hitchcock of Buchanan Sweet Shop – Italiano Cafe in Buchanan treated them to ice cream, phosphates and pizza. What a treat late in the morning or say an early lunch! After they were done enjoying their goodies, they were able to pick out some sweets from the candy stands filled with chocolate bars, rock candy and gummy candy. Tom gave the kids this advice while telling them about the rock candy, “now don’t eat all of your candy at once as you will get sick, but make sure we get some candy for Mom too.”
Big smiles and hearts of the kids and community members were present throughout the whole morning. As Laura Henkel, Guidance Counselor of Ottawa Elementary School said, “I look forward to this every year and have to attend it.” And it added more joy to their Christmas season. There were some tears, but lives were changed and hearts were big! Merry Christmas!
Lions Club 2022 Donation to Buchanan Police Department
THANK YOU to the Buchanan-Galien Lions Club for their generous donations of $200 to our annual Shop with a Cop and $500 to assist the Buchanan Police Department in purchasing Kevlar vests.
We have 13 children that will be shopping with police and fire heroes from the Buchanan community area. Based on the donations provided, each child will be provided $200 each to shop for Christmas.
Thank you for all you give to our community!
About Buchanan City Police Department: The Buchanan City Police Department’s fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard life and property; to protect the innocent against deception; the weak against oppression or intimidation; the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional Rights of all persons to liberty, equality, and justice. The Buchanan Police Department proudly serves the citizens of the City of Buchanan by providing twenty-four hour, seven days a week, full service police coverage.
- Hours: 24HR EMERGENCY SERVICE – 911
- Office lobby hours: Monday – Friday ~ 8am-4:30pm, except holidays.
“We Serve” is our motto – 87+ years strong – and proud to serve in the 2020 Nicest City in America – Buchanan, MI!
About Buchanan-Galien Lions Club: Buchanan-Galien Lion’s Club has been serving the community for more than 75 years. We meet the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at the Buchanan American Legion Hall – to learn more about becoming a Lion, contact us. Lions are men and women who volunteer their time to humanitarian causes. Lions extend their commitment beyond sight conservation through countless local efforts that include youth outreach programs, improving the environment, building homes for the disabled, and, through their foundation, provide disaster relief around the world.