Brookhaven Police officers recently took 75 children on shopping sprees to buy gifts for themselves and their families as part of their annual “Shop with a Badge” event.

Brookhaven Police officers took 75 children on a shopping spree to buy gifts for themselves and their families. (City of Brookhaven)

During the Dec. 14 in-store shopping event at the Target at 2400 North Druid Hills Road, the children were paired with police officers and other public safety professionals who helped them pick out holiday gifts for the kids’ families.

The 75 participating children were referred to the program with assistance of the Mercy Care/Chamblee agency, which ensured the children were from disadvantaged Brookhaven homes and performing well in school, according to BPD.

“We take every step to make this event an annual tradition the kids will always remember,” said Chief Gary Yandura in a press release.

Each child received $200 in gift cards thanks to a $10,000 Target donation and the $10,000 raised by the police department through its Hot Pursuit and Glow Run races, said Officer Carlos Nino.

“One of the things that I personally enjoy the most and find the most heartwarming is the thought that some of the kids put into their selections,” Nino said in the release. “A lot of times it is geared toward things the entire family needs and can benefit from more than the individual child.”

In past years, one child wanted a bedspread and another wanted shoes for his uncle, Nino said.

“One little boy just wanted a Christmas tree because he had never had one before,” Nino said in the release. “It’s a great feeling to help their holiday dreams come true.”

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