“This is absolutely the best community ever,” said Mesquite Police Chief Troy Tanner.
It has been said time and time again that the size of Mesquite’s heart is bigger than what meets the eye. That fact was proven once again for this year’s Shop with a Cop program at Mesquite Police Department on Tuesday.
According to Tanner, the department raised between $11,000 and $13,000 for this year’s 60 children who went shopping, another $550 in gift cards for Hughes Middle School students and $1,500 in gift cards at Virgin Valley High School plus $800 in cards to each of the elementary schools.
Those who had siblings were allocated a few extra dollars to buy presents for them, so that no one in the family would be left out. As per MPD tradition, several families who didn’t participate in the Shop with a Cop Program were gifted up to $400 to make this Christmas more special.
But the heart doesn’t stop with the community or the caring kids shopping for others.
“We might go over budget,” Sergeant John Woods said to his ward, “but that’s
okay, I’ve got it covered.” Several officers were more than happy to pitch in to make sure that each child had what they wanted and needed.
Most shopped for toys, some made sure they were prepared for the cold winter days and some wanted a good movie or game to enjoy during the upcoming winter break.
“We are so proud to be a part of this year after year,” said Stephanie Buckley, General Manager of the Mesquite Wal-Mart. Her crew was prepared this year, as they had a little goodie bag filled with candy ready for each kid that came through the door.
But the fun didn’t stop there.
As per tradition, once everyone was done shopping and checking out from the store, they headed over for some hotdogs and chips at the Mesquite Elks Lodge #2811 where they were not only greeted by Elroy the Elk, but Santa and Mrs. Claus were there, too.
“It warms my heart to see these children with smiles on their faces,” Santa told the MLN. “It makes this busy time that much more important at my workshop!”
“We couldn’t have done this year without Sergeant Jordan Bundy,” said Tanner. “He’s done real well and we look forward to seeing what he can do with the program.”
The MPD will be taking donations for the program through Dec. 21, although donors tend to donate throughout the year. For more information, contact the Mesquite Police Department during normal business hours.