Off duty Manteca Police came out in force Saturday morning to take children on a Christmas shopping spree at Walmart.
Ninety-four youths were able to spend $100 each while going through the store with Manteca Police personnel as part of the “Shop with a Cop” effort.
Manteca Police Chief Jody Estarziau stood on a step ladder directing the crowd of parents and children swarming through the front door.
The Second Harvest Food Bank staff joined the event with their fresh foodstuffs delivery truck parked outside where families were each offered bags of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Several Manteca shoppers stepped forward and donated cash out of their pockets to help the police buy even more for the children.
Sally Meyers, who along with her husband owns more than two dozen Sizzler restaurants including the one in Manteca, traveled from her home in Temecula in Southern California to help the boys and girls with their gift choices. Sizzler also donated a considerable amount of money to the event, Meyers is a member of a Southland Rotary Club and has attended Manteca Rotary meetings on several occasions.
The children bought items ranging from baby dolls to bicycles as well as clothing. They were all smiles when they walked out of the store. Officers were also smiling as they spent two hours helping the 94 kids shop.
It wasn’t just the patrol staff and support personnel that participated but also the police volunteers and cadet Explorers who all joined together to make the day a success
The Manteca Police Department parked a 1940s police patrol car in front of Walmart along with a large military SWAT rescue vehicle.
Parents were seen throughout the morning taking out their cell phones and photographing their children with the officers. One girl spent much of her allotted money for gifts for her older sister.
HOPE Family Ministries, Agape Villages, and Manteca Chamber of Commerce coordinated the families who participated. The Manteca Police Chiefs Association, Manteca Police Officers Association, Manteca-Ripon Tactical Officers Association, and Manteca Police K-9 Association all have fundraisers throughout the year to cover the cost of “Shop with a Cop.”
To contact Glenn Kahl, email firstname.lastname@example.org.