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Omaha Police Foundation team up with Target to give youth a Christmas shopping trip

Posted at 10:27 PM, Dec 14, 2022

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Sometimes in life, it is the simplest gestures that mean the most. Even something as simple as buying a gift.

“It's a blessing to be able to give rather than to receive so I am happy for them they can receive all of this,” said Malachi O’Neal with the Simple Foundation.

On Wednesday, wandering through the halls of Target, were around a dozen young shoppers crossing gifts off of their Christmas list. But it wasn’t Santa’s elves making sure their stockings were stuffed.

“We were given a grant through Target for $2,500 so we are taking 12 to 13 kids today. They each get $200 gift cards to spend on whatever they want for Christmas,” said Dan Martin, vice president of the Omaha Police Officers Association.

Shop with a Cop events like the Omaha Police Foundation’s partnership with Target has become a holiday staple for most of the departments in the metro area.

It's organized through OPF’s N.E.T.S. or Neighborhood Engagement Through Sports program. It uses that program and organizations like the Simple Foundation to find the kids who would benefit the most from a shopping trip with the Omaha Police Foundation.

“It means a lot. For some kids, they don’t get anything and to be able to be here and provide something. It is my pleasure,” said O’Neal.

The events aren’t just a way to spread holiday cheer but also an important tool to help these kids build relationships with the officers in a positive setting.

“We enjoy this aspect of it. Having a positive impact, instead of seeing us at a bad time in their life. We want to have a positive community impact with this event,” said Martin.

While it wasn’t wrapped up in bright paper with a bow Martin said the shopping trip, even if it didn’t last long, was a gift that they will cherish this Christmas.

“I always think the police officers have more fun than the kids do. They can be big kids, and look at these toys and play with them” said Martin.

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