Heartwarming doesn’t even begin to describe the scene at the Target on Gateway Drive in Spring Creek on Saturday.
Anyone taking a stroll down the aisles was likely to run into NYPD officers taking some underprivileged kids on a holiday shopping spree.
“I have a WWE champion superstar. I got a motorcycle. I got a Mario Hot Wheel and he got… a Rex,” 9-year-old Aiden Soto-Torrens said.
Ninety children, some as young as 4 years old, attended the event, which was paid for by Target.
“It’s an amazing, amazing experience as this is my first time and I’m so excited,” Officer Sherry Levan-Lewis told CBSN New York’s Marc Liverman. “Some children may not get the opportunity to go into a toy store.”
Some of the kids aren’t even able to afford to take part in the holidays at all. It’s why officers like Levan-Lewis stepped in to help them shop.
“I love this and I’m sure the children are ecstatic about it and their hearts are beating really fast, as mine is,” she said.
Every child was given $150, and they were allowed to pick whatever they wanted.
The event doesn’t just have an impact on the kids; it means the world to the officers, too.
“It’s a beautiful thing just to give back and to see the smiles on their faces,” Officer Thomas Lewis said.
Organizers say the event also helps build better relationships between the community and police officers.