Nearly 100 children aged between five and 17 in Washington, D.C. came together with officers from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to go shopping for holiday gifts at Target for the “Heroes and Helpers” event on Wednesday, December 11.
The annual holiday tradition was hosted by the Target in Columbia Heights, and sponsored by the retailer itself, as well as local donors, the D.C. Police Foundation and Panera, which provided 200 meals for officers and participant children.
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) December 11, 2019
Reporters were also invited to cover the event. “It’s very exciting, and then you get to see some kids make choices you would not think they would make,” Trevell Moreland, a Metro Transit Police officer, told WTOP.
“It’s not always about toys for them. Sometimes, it’s about items for their household.”
Moreland also said that the activity helps officers build bridges with children, adding that it is an opportunity as they might not always see the police force in a friendly way.
“There’s a reason why we continue to do this event every year – it’s a chance for our officers to connect with young people and give back to those in need during the holidays,” said Chief of Police Peter Newsham, according to MPD’s statement. “We are grateful for the D.C. Police Foundation’s support to continue this annual tradition.