By Garrett Christensen on Tuesday, November 29th, 2022 in Northeastern Oregon News Northeastern Oregon Top Stories
LA GRANDE – (Information from the La Grande Police Department) The La Grande Police Department is hosting the 14th annual “Shop with a Cop” event December 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Children grades 1-6 selected from local school districts will be partnered with a police officer and be given $150.00 to Christmas shop for their family. In addition, students will get to purchase one gift for themselves and receive several from Walmart and other community partners. Lieutenant Jason Hays of the LGPD further elaborated, “through generous donations, we were able to also purchase new backpacks stuffed with goodies for each of the selected children.” When the shopping is done, kids will have lunch provided while volunteers wrap their Christmas presents for them. Students will be given a ride home by officers.
Students participating this year were chosen based on financial need or if it was felt by staff that they would benefit from positive interactions with police officers. It’s not just members of the LGPD that are helping out either, the Union County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police will be stopping by as well. As Hays reflected:
“In coordinating this event over the last 14 years, it continues to be my favorite thing I have participated in as a 24-year veteran police officer. This is one event where everyone is full of Christmas joy and positively impacted. It is not uncommon for us to hear from the participating children, “This is the best day of my life.” We will have approximately 34 volunteers helping us this year, including police officers, spouses, retired police officers, dispatchers, administrative staff, LGPD volunteer staff and Walmart employees.”
Those who wish to donate during the event can contact Carla Greenough at the volunteer gift wrapping center in the front portion of Walmart. Donations are also accepted by the LGPD year-round. For questions, contact Jason Hays or Carla Greenough at the police department or call 541-963-1017.