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Kids shop with cops and firefighters in annual event

Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 9:51 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Armed with badges, boots and budgets, Anchorage children partnered with first responders on Friday for a holiday shopping spree.

About 60 kids from local homeless shelters arrived in limos and picked out gifts for themselves and their families at the 22nd annual Shop With a Cop and Firefighter event.

“It allows us to be able to come together as a community to help those who are less fortunate have a Christmas they would seemingly not have,” said Anchorage Police Officer Jon Butler. “And so for us to come together as a community and be able to say, ‘we want to give you that traditional look of a Christmas.’ I mean, just imagine the joy and excitement that brings to those families and kids.”

When they’re not fighting crime or running into burning buildings, Anchorage’s everyday heroes lend their skills as shopping assistants. Each child was given more than $200 to spend inside the Midtown Fred Meyer Store.

This year, Nuvision Credit Union teamed up with the event and donated thousands of dollars.

“It was really heartwarming to find out that in a lot of cases, the kids are buying stuff not for themselves, but for their family, and we thought, boy, this is a great way to help out,” said Keith Fernandez with the credit union. “So that’s why we contributed about $6,500 this year to help double the amount that the kids had for spending.”

After each child was done shopping, volunteers from the credit union, the police department and fire department wrapped their gifts and made sure they were delivered.

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