50 Vulnerable Children Enjoy An Early Christmas

Oct 31, 2022

For 50 local children from The Salvation Army Spokane’s shelter and foster care placement programs, Christmas came early this year. August 24 to be exact.

On this magical day, each child received $150 and were paired with men and women of the law enforcement who served as chaperones for The Salvation Army’s Shop with a Cop event at Old Navy in Spokane. Old Navy added a 10% discount to help stretch the children’s dollars. It was the first Shop with a Cop event since the pandemic hit.

The clothing spree was also educational in that the boys and girls enjoyed a positive time with members of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Department and Spokane Police Department, and that not all interaction is negative as seen on the daily news.

With a big smile on her face, a young girl named Amber said, “I had fun. I liked getting the clothes and shoes. My favorite outfit was the pink one.”

For a young grateful teen named JoJo, he said, “I love this community a lot. With Shop with a Cop, it shows more about what (law enforcement) can do, and how they can help. For instance, my family is not really very good in financial stuff, so this event helps me out with my family and my clothes.”

JoJo’s chaperone, Undersheriff John Nowels of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Department, loved the event and his time getting to know the young man.

“It’s great that The Salvation Army is able to put this event on. Thank you to the Kalispel Tribe of Indians for funding this. It’s a great opportunity for law enforcement to get associated with some of the best young men and young women in this community. I got to know JoJo pretty well for the last hour. He’s a fantastic young man. Very privileged to get to know him. This is a relationship that I will cherish forever.

And, without missing a beat, Nowels turned to JoJo and said, “How about you? Are you glad to know me or not? Both laughed, as JoJo said, “I’m pretty sure the answer is clear.”

A number of the children involved in this shopping spree have been through some difficult situations in their young lives. This enjoyable event allowed these young people to choose new clothes just for themselves; giving them a sense of ownership and something to feel good about. And, for some, this was also the first time they have ever owned new clothes.

“To see the joy on their faces as they chose their own clothes and shoes was priceless,” said Major Ken Perine, corps officer of The Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army thanks the Kalispel Tribe for the financial gift that allowed these children to enjoy such an amazing day.

To learn more about The Salvation Army’s work in the Spokane region, please visit www.makingspokanebetter.org

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