WESTBURY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Fifty kids from the Westbury School District went on a holiday shopping spree with police officers.
It’s all part of the Heroes & Helpers Program.READ MORE: Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo Charged With Misdemeanor Forcible Touching
The kids took over a Target store, each with $200 to spend on Christmas gifts for themselves and others. Every kid had their eyes on a list of items.
“I got a car. It’s my favorite car. And I got a Jojo doll and a Live Pet dog,” said student Madison Belardo.
Elementary to high school kids accompanied by guidance counselors were paired up with officers to dash through the aisles of Target and fill their red carts.
“Toys for my little sisters and the jewelry for my mom,” said student Lisbeth Hernandez.
Many of the kids come from low income families and were chosen by their schools to take part in the special opportunity.READ MORE: Inside Look At 9 DeKalb Avenue, Brooklyn's First 'Supertall' Skyscraper
“We want the students to make that connection that our police officers are out there to help us and to see them today interacting with them, it just makes it all come together,” said Percy Holmes, school counselor with Drexel Avenue School.
The money comes from a grant awarded by Target. The Nassau County Police Department Foundation matched the grant, doubling each child’s spending money.
“My kids see me as dad. Hopefully they can see us as community members and cops and fathers and mothers as well. Let’s break the stigma, of, you know, we’re not trying to do any harm, we’re just trying to help everyone out,” said one officer.
The little ones were grateful for the time they got to spend with their local heroes.
“I feel lucky for being here too and thankful for them,” Hernandez said.MORE NEWS: Student, 14, Arrested With Loaded Handgun At Brooklyn High School
At the end of their shopping spree, the kids got a special ride back to school by police officers they’ve been able to build a bond with.