Police donned Santa hats and were armed with stockings and goodies Wednesday as they helped young children shop for the holidays.
It was the 18th annual CopShop at Halifax Shopping Centre, where officers partnered with kids to help them cross items off their Christmas wish lists.
It was the first time the event made a full return since the pandemic struck in 2020.
The mall was filled with Halifax Regional Police (HRP) officers and excited kids as the children roamed stores to buy presents for themselves and their loved ones.
They were handed a $200 gift card and stockings filled with holiday treats along with new winter coats.
Stephanie Schnare, the marketing director of the Halifax Shopping Centre, says 50 officers and 50 kids were invited to venture into the stores.
“It’s an amazing event. The children are chosen based on community involvement, academic as well as financial need,” Schnare says. “So all those factors are taken into consideration when those children are selected by community officers with the Halifax Regional Police.”
She adds it’s a heart-warming event for everyone involved.
Eleven-year-old student Rynase Nkanyo was in search of his top Christmas gifts — clothing and stylish new shoes.
“So I wanted some Jordans, but since they didn’t have them, I just picked out another shoe that I thought looked good and colourful,” Nkanyo says. “I was excited shopping and meeting new people.”
Jeremiah Mortan couldn’t wait to buy a Batmobile and find gifts for his family.
“We got a beanie chair and then we were all done so we came back and went to get bath bombs for my sister and got a present for my mom,” the eight-year-old says.
HRP Const. John MacLeod says it’s a joy to help make sure children have a gift under the tree.
“We volunteer to come in here to help the kids because we know there are lots of people who may not get everything they’re looking for, for Christmas,” MacLeod says. “It’s just a fantastic chance to help them out a little bit and give back to the community.”
Kids also received a $10 gift card so they could provide a present for a child the same age and pay the holiday experience forward.