SPOKANE -- Local law enforcement officers, volunteers, and firefighters gave back to their community just in time for Christmas day. Departments from Idaho and Washington took many underprivileged kids on the shopping spree of a lifetime Sunday.
The day started with children being picked up at their home by a police officer in a patrol car. Officers and firemen then mobilized together and took the children to the Spokane Valley Wal-Mart and the Post Falls Wal-Mart. Police and firefighters took the children through the store picking out Christmas gifts for them and their families. The children received $200 to spend at the store.
"Every year it keeps growing and growing and it's really neat to watch their eyes while we're out shopping with them," said Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich.
After the shopping was done, the children were taken back to the Coeur d'Alene Greyhound Park to visit with Santa. While the children were meeting Santa, volunteers wrapped their presents and prepared a large food basket for their family.
At the end of the day, the officers loaded the presents and food into their patrol cars and took the children home. All of the officers and firefighters volunteered their time to make the event happen. All of the food, gifts, and money came from donations and food drives.
The children's names were provided to the organizers by School Resource Officers, school counselors, patrol officers, deputy sheriffs, or firefighters who have come into contact with a needy child during this last year. About 105 needy families took part in this year's event.