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Hundreds of kids benefit from Carl Junction shop with a cop - KOAM TV 7

Hundreds of kids benefit from Carl Junction shop with a cop

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

Carl Junction police officers and local volunteers help to put presents under the Christmas tree for kids in need.

Walmart was crowded with early morning shoppers participating in the annual shop with a cop event. The department works closely with school district to select the kids participating. This year 230 kids benefit. The event is a Christmas tradition for many police officers and volunteers.

“This programs been going on for years, Joplin’s had it I helped with their program, when I came over to Carl Junction they had it going but not to the scale we've been able to get it to and there's always children in need and as long as we can get the people to help us, we'll help the kids,” says police chief Delmar Haase.

Each kid gets a $100 gift card but police encourage them to spend more. The local rotary club is on hand to pay any extra charges at check out.

Because there are only 12 officers in the Carl Junction Department, 150 volunteers were available this year to shop with kids.

“That’s the best way to be as humans, you want to give back to somebody, there's always somebody that needs help. I think that's the Christian way to be is to help someone else,” says Tina Rose, a volunteer

Each child is paired with a police officer or volunteer and many believe this helps to foster a trusting relationship between law enforcement and kids.

“I think it helps us with the relationship with the kids, police officers love kids, we hate to see them in need, we hate to see them as victims of crimes, and I think it helps everybody’s relationships with this program,” says Haase.

$24,000 was donated this year to help make the event possible. The Police Department will also be bringing toys to the Joplin Salvation Army for children in need.

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