“Shop with a Cop,” a charity event that donates gift cards to keiki in need, provided 31 children with a shopping spree this past weekend at the Hilo Target store.

Officers from the South Hilo Community Policing Unit and off-duty police, along with representatives from Catholic Charites, the Pāhoa chapter of Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Target store, contributed to the holiday splurge for the youth, who ranged from age 3 to teenagers. The event was held from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday (December 17).

The selected children met with the officers and then took pictures with Santa, who gave them each a $50 gift card. The officers then helped the keiki shop for gifts.

All funding was established by Catholic Charities with VFW donating a large portion. The Target store, which facilitated the event, provided snacks, bags and a gift-wrapping station manned by store volunteers, and donated one of the gift cards and additional cards to cover overages.

Shop with a Cop originated in 2000 with the Saint Paul Police Department in Minnesota.