By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– This weekend dozens of deputies will play Santa and help San Bernardino County children pile their shopping carts high with toys, clothes, music and more during the 13th Annual Shop with a Cop hosted by SEBA.
The Safety Employee Benefit Association (SEBA), which is the bargaining unit for safety employees in San Bernardino County, invested more than $100,000 in its community this year by inviting hundreds of children on a shopping spree to help them have a better Christmas. The children were hand-chosen by local deputies as deserving of some extra holiday help.
“Many in our community have fallen on hard times and by nature of our job, we tend to see people on some of their worst days,” said SEBA President Laren Leichliter. “This event allows us to show these children we don’t forget about them after we leave. We remember and we want to help.”
In a time when much of the national debate centers around relationships between law enforcement and the com-munities it serves, Shop with a Cop – in its 13th year running – shows San Bernardino County deputies and residents can come together and share a day filled with blessings. Deputies help the children select items and spend the morning shopping with them. They talk about school, sports, life and maybe even a future career in public safety. Each child gets $200 to spend throughout the store and Wal-Mart has generously offered to pay the taxes.
For a few hours on December 12 and 13 deputies will not have to worry about pending priority calls or listen to a radio constantly in their ear. They won’t be looking for clues or interviewing people about a crime. They will have their undivided attention on the Christmas wishes of a child.
“This day allows kids, and their parents, to see beyond the badge and spend some time with us,” Leichliter said. “They can see we have the same likes and interests; we just wear different clothes to work.”
Safety employees volunteer their time to come and shop at 12 events throughout the county at various participating Wal-Mart stores. SEBA hosted six events last weekend in the High Desert. The bargaining organization also started the annual Shop with a Cop back to school campaign, in which children choose school sup-plies and clothes for the coming school year. SEBA hopes to grow its community outreach and continue to give to the residents of San Bernardino County.
The following is a list of locations and times Shop with a Cop events will be held this week-end. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend so we can be sure to brief our families about the presence of the media. All events begin at 9 a.m. except the Red-lands event, which starts at 7:30 a.m.
December 13 Events:
Wal-Mart San Bernardino, 4001 Hallmark Parkway 9 a.m.
Hesperia Walmart, 13401 Main St. 9 a.m.
Upland, 1540 W. Foothill 9 a.m.
December 14 Events:
Redlands, 2050 Redlands Blvd. 7:30 a.m.
Rialto, 1610 Riverside Dr. 9 a.m.
Colton, 1120 S. Mt. Vernon 9 a.m.
Chino, 9343 Grand Ave 9 a.m.
To watch a video on a previous Shop With a Cop event video, click the link below: www.vimeo.com107859688