The kids were all smiles but a little nervous when they entered the Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentoring Center this weekend. Many didn't know what was in store for them at the beginning of the day. Some had heard they were going shopping for presents, while others were told they were going to get into the holiday spirit but little more information. When the children arrived, they saw eight police cars parked outside the building.
Upon entering the building, they were greeted by 10 Bettendorf Police Officers, many in Santa hats welcoming them to their special day.
The Bettendorf Police Department in partnership with the Walmart Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters hosted their first Bigs In Blue "Littles with Law Enforcement" event. Ten officers were paired up with BBBS matches and spent the afternoon having fun. It began with a special ride in a patrol car. "They even turned on the lights for us!" exclaimed one little!
Following their professional escort, matches and officers roamed the aisles of Walmart in seach of that special gift for family members. One little got some extra help from a customer who was pricing the same blanket. He wanted to get his mom a nice soft blanket for the winter, but was worried about getting a good one at a great price. "I'm in the same boat as you," commented the shopper, "the one on the lower shelf is the softest and it's 25% off," she advised.
Once all the gifts were purchased, the group headed back to the BBBS Mentoring Center to wrap them up and enjoy some pizza. "My brother is going to love this gift," exclaimed one Little, "it's going to be the best present he gets this year without a doubt."
"This is our first Bigs in Blue event," stated Josh Paul, a K-9 Officer with the Bettendorf Police Department and a Big Brother for the past four years. "These kids are very special and unfortunately they don't have a lot of financial resources, so this is a way for us to help them do something special for the important people in their lives."
"The Bigs in Blue initiative is our way of partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters to help positively influence and support vulnerable children in our community," Paul stated, "it helps build positive relationships and provides at-risk youth with the resources and access they need should they ever have a challenge."
The following are stories about the "Bigs in Blue" Holiday event:
WQAD Story: http://wqad.com/2017/12/03/local-police-go-christmas-shopping-with-kids-from-big-brothers-big-sisters-program/
WHBF Story: http://www.ourquadcities.com/news/bettendorf-police-officers-take-children-shopping-for-gifts/874194878
QC Times Story: http://qctimes.com/news/local/bettendorf-police-help-littles-shop-for-their-families/article_6f139330-f360-55de-9776-6a0aab8a1e58.html