On December 12, 2019, a wonderful holiday shopping event took place where kids in need got a chance to “Shop with a Cop, Firefighter or Cruiser” for holiday gifts for themselves and their families. Money raised this summer from the Little Fall Cruise Inns was put towards the purchase of $100 Walmart gift cards for ten children and teens who were accompanied by an adult who walked the store with them, helped them think about and make gift selections, assisted with budgeting and check out. Herkimer Walmart generously gave all young shoppers 10% off their purchase from the event as well.

Participating kids were identified from ICAN programs and were from the Little Falls area.

Police Department and Fire Department from Little Falls took part, along with representatives from Little Falls Cruise Inn. They were paired with a child and accompanied them throughout the store and helped them select gifts. Programs like this occur throughout the country and are a great way to break down barriers and start to build bridges between law enforcement and youth.

Steve Bulger, CEO/Executive Director of ICAN, adds, “This is a great way to enhance our Adopt-a-Family effort in a very hands-on way. Kids getting a chance to purchase their own gifts for their families is very empowering and being able to spend time with an officer or firefighter while shopping is a big bonus.”

Walmart, ICAN (from their Adopt-a-Family Campaign) and the Cruise-Inn Little Falls Marina all contributed to make this event a possibility.

Photos by Dave Warner