You have seen our stories about the September start-of-school program by the same name – we were surprised to see this holiday “Shop-with-a-Cop” version. See why 38 kids’ Christmas was a little brighter …
This crowd of happy Fred Meyer Gateway shoppers are about to go on a shopping spree, with Portland Police Bureau officers as their personal shopping assistants.
Story and photos by David F. Ashton
When Portland Police Bureau officers converged on the Gateway Fred Meyer store just before Christmas, they weren’t carrying handcuffs or Tazers – instead, they had gift cards in hand!
Troy Harding, store director Gateway Fred Meyer, explained, “38 needy kids are here, shopping for clothing and other things they need, thanks to the Portland Police Bureau’s Sunshine Division, and other sponsors.”
Harding said Fred Meyer participates in the event “Because we are a part of the community. We want to be able to help where we can. And, because our store provides one-stop shopping, they can get anything they need right here.”
Portland Police Bureau chief Rosie Sizer takes charge of a shopping cart as she and Cody Mode, an 8th grader at Alice Ott Middle School, head into the store.
We learned that this is called the “Izzy’s Kids Holiday Event”, named in honor of Isabell Hoyt, a longtime Sunshine Division volunteer with a particular concern for the welfare of Portland’s children.
This program permits Portland Police officers to identify school-age children whose families cannot afford to outfit them with essential new school clothes.
With gift card in hand Chief Sizer and Cody shop for warm, winter clothing – and a couple of cool T-shirts.
“I really enjoy participating in this, as well as our Fall Shop-with-a-Cop event,” Sizer told us. “Kids not only get new school clothes, but also get to make a positive, personal connection with law enforcement officers.”
After the shopping spree, the kids attended an ice cream feast at the nearby Fir Ridge Campus of David Douglas High Schools.
The event was sponsored by Sunshine Division in partnership with the Portland Police Bureau, Fred Meyer, and Commerce Bank.
Formerly a lieutenant at East Precinct, Captain Chris Uehara, now at Family Services Division, helps a youngster pick out the perfect “hoodie” jacket.
© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service