COOS BAY — Hundreds of children in need joined local law enforcement officers and firefighters as they took to the toy aisles of Walmart on Saturday morning in search of the perfect Christmas gift.
With about $10,000 raised this year, over 200 children from Coquille were treated to a $50 gift of their choosing for the 10th annual Shop with the Heroes event.
“It’s just amazing to see the community come together for these kids,” said Coquille Police Clerk Joline DeLosSantos. “This is our biggest turnout yet.”
The annual shopping trip, which was organized by the Coquille Police Department, featured about 68 volunteer chaperones including deputies from the Coos County Sheriff’s Office, firefighters from the Coquille Fire Department, troopers from Oregon State Police and officers from both Coquille and Bandon police departments.
Donations made by local businesses and community members were collected throughout the year to help fund the gifts. An additional 39 children under the age of five also received a Christmas present. However, due to age restrictions, children under the age of five were not able to travel alongside officers on the trip.
A free breakfast and lunch was provided to children at the Coquille High School from Frazier’s Bakery, Domino’s Pizza, Four Season’s Restaurant, Highway Deli Mart and Little Caesars Pizza.
Other chaperones form the local churches including the Coquille Foursquare Church and the Coquille Christian Community Church also participated in Saturday’s event.
“We’re just glad to be able to give back to the community and help children in need,” said Coquille Police Chief Scott Sanders. “Every year I bring my personal trailer and my wife and I help load up all the gifts. My favorite part is seeing how excited and happy they are.”