Berks

'Shop with a Cop' makes kids' Christmas brighter

Santa, Phillie Phanatic add to fun at Boscov's

MUHLENBERG TWP., Pa. - Jordan Knight, a 9-year-old fourth grader at Reeceville Elementary School in Coatesville, Chester County, has had some rough Christmases recently. 

"It's extremely important to him. He's been displaced a couple times over the past couple years. He has a baby brother that's in foster care," explained his grandmother, Veronica Ray.

But, with the help of Crime Alert Berks County, local police, Santa and the Phillie Phanatic, he's trying to make this one a little different.

"He wants to get his two brothers gifts. He was so excited all day, this morning getting ready for school, 'What time are we leaving? What time are we leaving?'" Ray said.

The time finally arrived Thursday night for 25 children to roam the aisles of Boscov's North in Muhlenberg Township in search of special gifts, courtesy of Boscov's and Crime Alert.

For the kids, it's not just about getting gifts for themselves or loved ones, but also about developing positive relationships with police.

"This is a good opportunity for them to do that and let them know that we're just everyday people, and we're here to help them when they need us," explained Sgt. Leon Grim of the Wyomissing Police Department.

The annual event, now almost a decade old, continues to grow each year.

"This year, just like any party, every year, you have to make the party better, so the Muhlenberg band was here playing, which was cool, and this year, the addition was the Phillie Phanatic," said Chris Nein, a Crime Alert vice president.

As the event grows, it never eclipses the importance of what a simple stroll through a department store around Christmas can mean to a kid.

"Some of these kids wouldn't ever get to go shopping if it wasn't for these events," Ray said.


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