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With the sun still hanging low in the sky early Saturday morning, the Tabb Kmart was illuminated with the smiles of excited children, parents, and police officers.
The York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office hosted their 15th annual Shop with a Sheriff Saturday morning. More than 60 eager children showed up to go holiday shopping with police officers and sit on Santa’s lap.
“I’m ecstatic. This is the most exciting and uplifting day,” said Brenda McIntyre, whose two children filled a shopping cart with Christmas presents. “It really helps us out. I’m so grateful.”
According to Lt. Dennis Ivey of the York-Poquoson's Sheriff's Office, the money used by the department on presents was raised from community donations.
Lt. Elizabeth Simmons said she was happy to share the Christmas spirit with York County families.
“It gives us a chance to interact with the kids one-on-one and spread cheer with them,” said Simmons. “We have a lot of fun. This is my thirteenth year and I’ve only missed one."
"The parents love it, too," she added. "I think they like the interaction between the department and the kids, and it takes the burden off them, too.”
Kmart Manager Dee Cochran said she was excited to have the Sheriff’s office and dozens of excited children and their families fill her store. She added that her coworkers felt the same way.
“Our associates asked to work today, and they have fun setting up the decorations,” said Cochran.
York County’s Mary Douglas had three children participate in the event, and had tears of joy in her eyes as her oldest son David won a bicycle in a drawing.
“I can’t believe the community does that,” said Douglas. “I’ve never seen the community do so much for each other. It’s Christmas magic.”