Aberdeen Police Sergeant Christina Ricks spearheaded a new community outreach program this year, and it began with four police officers and three local children at Aberdeen Walmart on a Christmas shopping spree. The Aberdeen Police Department raised monetary donations within the department, allowing three children a $200 each shopping spree.
Upon arrival at Walmart, a customer took notice of the event and purchased an additional $50 gift card for each, bringing each child’s shopping spree up to $250.
One child jumped up and down in the aisle and said it was the best day ever when Pikachu went into the shopping cart.
Aberdeen Detective Shannon Darling assists a child in a Christmas shopping spree on December 16 at Aberdeen Walmart.
Another child was a serious shopper and purchased electronics and socks and spoke about attending college.
“I’m going to wrap up these, but I’m playing with this now,” one child said while holding the electronic up high.
Christmas toys for a local child.
Another child was excited over the number of toys that filled the cart and clapped when the officers told them they were taking them out to eat after they paid for their items. They went to the children’s chosen restaurants’ drive-thrus, due to COVID-19, and let them take their food home to enjoy.
The children shopped for anything they wanted within their budget, and each child expressed how thankful and blessed they were “every day” to have the police helping them.
Aberdeen Police Officers Sergeant Chris Davis, Sergeant Christina Ricks and Detective Randy Plowman manage the busy toy lane.
“We wanted to contribute to the Aberdeen children and let them know law enforcement is here to help,” Ricks said. “So many children don’t have Christmas.”
Sergeant Chris Davis said next year they will begin planning the program early, so they can help more children.
The children were chosen by Aberdeen Elementary School officials.
Feature photo: Aberdeen Sergeant Christina Ricks tallies the Christmas gifts chosen by a local child.
Article and photos by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Stephanie M. Sellers.