Lara Hoover sends in a Shout Out goes to a special group of individuals who donated time from their busy schedules to help make a once in a lifetime holiday experience a reality.
I want to share my most sincere appreciation to several members of the Office of Child Welfare Investigations (OCWI) staff who participated in Shop with a Cop over the holidays. In addition to committing their work time (and then some!) to ensure the safety of children through collaboration with service providers and investigative partners, these folks were up before dawn on a Saturday morning to help bring a once in a lifetime holiday experience to underserved children. Coordinated by Arizona Law Enforcement Outreach and Support and relying 100% on volunteers and donations, the Shop With a Cop program pairs children with a public safety professional who joins them for a hot breakfast and holiday fun and games, after which the kiddos are given an amount they can spend on holiday shopping with their new police friend. It is truly heartwarming to see that more often than not, these children select gifts for their family members before they even shop for themselves.
Shout Out to OCWI folks Jennifer Allshouse, Crystal Cooper-Vallet, Julie Favila, Traci Grannan, Rick Mashburn, George Reilly, Rachel Scherer, and Stephen Woo, who gave of themselves and represented DCS like the compassionate professionals they are to create a holiday experience for children who might not otherwise have had one, and to Chief Jerry Gissel for supporting their involvement in this worthwhile endeavor.