This is the time of year when kids need to stock up on pencils, pens, binders, folders, rulers, notebooks, pencil cases and probably a backpack to carry all that stuff around.
Purchasing school supplies is a hardship for some low income families in Pasadena.
The Pasadena Police Department, through the “Shop with a Cop” program makes sure every kid has the tools needed to shine in the classroom.
For the fifth year in a row, the Boys and & Girls Club identified 20 children who were most in need and the Pasadena Rotary Club donated a $100 Target Gift Card for each kid.
Then On Aug.16, each child partnered with a Pasadena Police officer and together, they rolled one of Target’s signature red carts to the retailer’s school supply isles and picked out what they needed for school.
“I get to go shopping so I can learn more with the supplies that I get,” said Vanessa, a fifth grader at Willard Elementary School, who was shopping with Off. Brittni Hulsizer. “I’ve never went shopping with police officer. It’s fun.”
The experience was fun for Hulsizer too, who was one of 11 officers volunteering for her first ever Shop with a Cop event.
“I love the kids,” Hulsizer said. “She (Vanessa) has a sense of style. She picked the boots out all on her own. She said she needs a calculator.”
So off they went to find a calculator.
Of all the causes supported by the Pasadena Rotary Club, Shop with a cop is one of the favorites of the organization, which is celebrating its 100th year in the city, said Scott Vandrick centennial president of club.
“We’re really excited to do it” Vandrick said. “Our relationship with Pasadena Police Department is long and strong. We love just the look on the kids’ faces when they are able to shop for school supplies.”
Pasadena PD Cmdr. Art Chute said programs such as Shop with a Cop give youngsters a chance to interact with a police officer in ways they may never have before.
This gives the kids an opportunity to see what we’re all about as human beings and not just police officers,” Vandrick said. “It’s great for our young officers. It benefits everybody.”