When the Target associate rung up the bill, the total far exceeded the $100 gift card the 11-year-old kid rapidly maxed out at the Anaheim PD’s second-annual Shop With a Cop event Monday.
Julian Delgado amassed a bill of $227.23 for shoes, socks, a couple of books, a Lego set, a board game, a skateboard and a stuffed Olaf “pillow buddy” (Olaf is a character in the film “Frozen”) during the early morning shopping spree.
Officer Rafael Martins, one of 60 cops who donated their time to be paired up with an in-need kid for the 6:30 a.m. event, asked Julian a question.
“Do you promise to continue doing good in school?”
Yes, the sixth-grader at Hansen Elementary told him.
Martins, a detective assigned to the robbery and assault detail, then whipped out his own credit card to cover the difference.
By the end of the morning, Anaheim PD officers collectively had dipped into their own pockets to the tune of nearly $1,400 to help make the holidays special for 60 children hand-picked for their efforts at school and home to participate in the charitable event.
Ana Delgado, 30, Julian’s mother, works at IHOP while her husband, Martin, 34, a carpenter, recovers from a hand injury and looks for work. The Anaheim couple has four young sons.
“This is a big blessing,” Ana Delgado said as she wiped away tears as Julian showed her what he bought for himself.
She had told him not to buy anything for her or Julian’s father, or for his siblings.
Julian gleefully obliged.
Julian’s brother, J.C., 7, also had been selected to participate in the Shop With A Cop event. The second-grader and Julian participate in the Anaheim PD’s after-school Junior Cadets program.
J.C. is the youngest junior cadet ever, said Officer Jacob Gallacher, who runs the Anaheim PD’s Cops 4 Kids, Jr. Cadets and Police Explorers programs.
Julian proudly pointed out that he’s been in the program three years and now is an “advanced junior cadet.”
Martins, who has a son Julian’s age and a 10-year-old daughter, posed with Julian for some goofy “selfies” and, as they shopped, reminded him about the importance of doing well in school, helping around at home, and staying out of trouble.
Julian’s involvement in the Junior Cadets program apparently is working.
“If I see a poor person I’m going to give him $50,” he said. “Or I will go to McDonald’s and buy 100 burgers and a bunch of French fries and chocolate shakes and give them away.”
Martins, one of 50 officers to participate in last year’s Shop With a Cop, said: “It’s good for the community to see this. The public often forgets that we are humans with families, and many of us have children.
“This event is not only important to us, but also to the community.”
The morning shopping spree was held before doors opened to the public at the Target at 101 S. Euclid St.
Target donated $1,500 to Anaheim Cops 4 Kids as part of the retailer’s Target & BLUE campaign, which pairs public safety officers with in-need youth for a day of holiday shopping.
In addition to the grant from Target, several other generous organizations made donations to Cops 4 Kids that helped make the event a reality, Gallacher said.
Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada strolled through the Target to watch the action.
He noted that last year, some kids used the money to purchase food for their families.
“This is the stuff they (the public) don’t see,” Quezada said.
When his shopping was over, Julian turned to Martins.
“Thank you,” he said. “You’re awesome.”
Then, to no one in particular, Julian added:
“We’re like BFFs now.”
In the photo at the top of this story, Anaheim Police Officer Rafael Martins takes 11-year-old Julian Delgado through the Target store for the Anaheim PD’s second-annual “Shop with a Cop.” Each kid received a $100 Target gift card. Photo by Steven Georges.