Pekin families shop with local heroes to spread holiday cheer

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PEKIN, Ill.– As we approach the holidays, Pekin police officers, Advanced Medical Transport first responders, and Pekin firefighters are giving back through to kids in need.

Throughout the year, Pekin school teachers and public servicemen nominate children who have been through a traumatic event, abuse, or maybe the family has fallen on hard times to participate in the program.

The goal of shopping with a hero aims to provide these kids with a holiday they deserve.

Sunday, 30 kids traveled the walkways at Wal-Mart with a local hero, helping them find toys, clothes, shoes, and more.

“It’s not only good just for the children, it’s nice for the adults when they don’t have to worry, or stress, about being able to provide for their family,” said Robert Jones, Pekin Police Sergeant. “It’s an opportunity that the members of the public have come together with the Pekin Police Department to do this is just something that lasts forever.”

On a heartfelt note, some of these kids actually buy things for their siblings or parents and not just themselves.

“I bought my whole family presents for Christmas,” said Nicholas Herberger. “I tried to get them what they wanted, but some of it, they might not like, like but yeah, I just bought my family a bunch of presents.”

Officers say it’s also a way to build positive relationships with the community. Each child who participates is able to spend $100 on a pre-registered gift card.

Throughout the year, the Pekin Police Department takes donations, holds fundraiser and more to have the funds available for the program.

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