NEWTON FALLS, Ohio (WYTV) – Christmas is just 16 days away and many of us are starting to feel the holiday spirit. On Monday night, two Trumbull County police squads made sure 21 children in need had a special night.
Once again this year, the Newton Falls and Braceville police departments invited underprivileged kids on a shopping spree.
Officers look forward to Shop With a Cop every year.
“For us to be out in the community and do things, like with the kids tonight and other times throughout the year, it’s what we do. It’s about community relations,” said Newton Falls Police Chief Gene Fixler.
For the eighth year, the Faces Lounge and Bar in Newton Falls hosted the dinner beforehand. Owner Wanda Vetzel said it’s one way they give back to the community.
“We do a lot of benefits here. When people’s houses are burned down, children with cancer, our establishment steps up. It’s a family-owned business and we know the value of family.”
Vetzel said an event like this shows a positive view of the police and sets a good example for the kids.
“It’s like anything else. You start at a young age, you instill good morals and your kids grow up to be good people.”
After dinner, dessert and time with Santa, the kids were whisked away to Target at the Eastwood Mall.
Each was given $150 to spend on their Christmas wish list.
But the kids didn’t just shop for themselves.
“With $150 to spend, they usually take a lot of things home with them and it’s not only for themselves. It’s for dad and mom, it’s for sister, brother,” Fixler said.
F.O.P. Lodge 120 raises the money for the kids throughout the year. This year, they raised over $3,000.