BRISTOL â€“ â€śShop with a Copâ€ť returns to the local Target for the fifth year Dec. 11, with officers volunteering their time to help less fortunate children have their Christmas wishes come true.
â€śShop with a Cop,â€ť organized by The Reach Foundation, will see 60 to 80 police officers pair off with children, first having an afternoon of fun at Crystal Bees at 240 Spring St. Then, from there, they will head to the Target at 600 Executive Boulevard South, where officers will help them to find items on their wish list that their families might not have otherwise been able to afford.
â€śThe day will start at Crystal Bees in the afternoon, with officers meeting, bowling and playing video games with the children and then having dinner together,â€ť said Matt Mazzochi, of The Reach Foundation. â€śFrom there they will head to Target to begin their shopping spree. The look on these kidsâ€™ faces is one of pure joy. A lot of kids who have participated in this program before catch up with the officers later to thank them.â€ť
Shop with a Cop is funded with proceeds from The Reach Foundationâ€™s annual Crazy Brew Bash, a beer festival that they put on annually with help from Crazy Bruceâ€™s Liquors at Mount Southington. In addition to supporting Shop with a Cop in Southington, it will also fund an event at the Manchester Target on Dec. 4.
â€śI am proud of the community and the Reach Foundation for helping to make this possible for the past five years,â€ť said Mazzochi. â€śShop with a Cop continues to grow every year as it continues to bring kids some holiday cheer. Not only does this event help to make the holidays special, but it also helps to create a sense of community for the children who participate.â€ť
The Reach Foundation is a Farmington-based, nonprofit organization that was founded in 2000. Their original mission, according to thereachfoundation.org, is to â€śfinancially aid educational scholarships, continued education and training for educators, fund unique and beneficial education programs and programs that encourage social responsibility in and out of the classroom.â€ť
That mission has since expanded to include assisting children with financial, social and financial issues. The organization reaches out to help children in need and provides programs to improve their environment.
For more information on The Reach Foundation, visit thereachfoundation.org. Mazzochi said that the website is updated frequently with other community activities and opportunities to volunteer and get involved.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.