Sarasota Police take local kids holiday shopping Dec. 9

Categories: Stories of Impact, BELONGING AND CULTURE: Uniting Community,

Shop with a Cop returns on Saturday, Dec. 9, to provide an opportunity for 150 underserved youth in Sarasota to shop for holiday gifts. The event is a partnership of the Sarasota Police Department, Sarasota Housing Authority, Target and Sarasota County Area Transit.

Held from 6-8 a.m. at the Target store at 5350 Fruitville Road, the Housing Authority will pair the youth with an officer for the unique shopping experience.

"This special event showcases SHA’s commitment to providing positive, uplifting experiences for our youth while promoting mutual respect with our Sarasota police partners," said Sarasota Housing Authority CEO William Russell. "Many of our kids who have participated in past events reminisce about what a positive experience it was to shop with and get to know SPD officers.”

The SHA raises more than $15,000 for this event through its affiliate Sarasota Housing Funding Corp. This year’s event was made possible through donations by Communities Unified, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Target, First Horizon Foundation and other private donors.

“Shop with a Cop is one of our favorite community events that we look forward to every year,” said SPD Chief Rex Troche. “It is moments like this when our officers and civilian employees can build strong relationships with the children in our community.”

Donations to the program may be made to the Sarasota Housing Funding Corp. Checks can be made payable to Sarasota Housing Funding Corp. with "Shop with a Cop" in the memo line. Checks or cash donations can be dropped off at the Sarasota Housing Authority, 269 S. Osprey Ave.