Posted: Friday, December 21st 2012 at 2:29pm
Gainesville Police host 13th annual Shop-With-A-Cop
By Bill Johnson Access Insider
GAINESVILLE – It would be difficult to determine who enjoyed the 13th annual Shop-With-A-Cop most, the children who squealed with glee as the presents were handed out or the Gainesville Police Officers who grinned ear-to-ear to see the kids so excited.
Gainesville Police spokesman Cpl. Joe Britte called it a toss-up.
“I could say the children, but we’re right there neck and neck with them,” he said. “We really enjoy shopping for them, picking out gifts for them and, at the end of the day, we like seeing the smiles on their faces when they receive their gifts.”
Some of the children gathered at Gainesville Walmart Friday come from homes where there may be nothing else under the Christmas tree this year – if there is a tree.
Each child received a huge bag filled with gifts chosen just for them, everything from radio remote controlled cars and trucks to Barbie dolls. Some were too big to fit in the bag, like the brand new bikes some children received.
No one seemed more thrilled than young Emanuel Mancilla who was brought to Walmart by big brother Alvaro Gonzalez. They were the first to arrive and Emauel was first to receive his gift bag. “Look, look,” he told his brother as he pulled out each toy. “Do you believe this,” he added.
Once all 14 children had received their gifts, it was time to head outside where each family was presented with a box filled with everything needed to prepare a Christmas Day feast.
In addition to the Gainesville Police Department, it’s only fitting to recognize the role that many community organizations played. The Gainesville School system helped to identify the children. The Rotary Club donated money for the gifts. The Boys and Girls Club and Pilgrim’s Pride donated the meals.
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