Shoppers at the Walmart in Mt. Juliet may have noticed an unusual number of uniformed police in the store Friday evening, but there was not an emergency.
The officers volunteered their time to help kids in the annual "Christmas with a Cop" program.
Twenty-one children who could use a little something extra in their stocking were treated to a shopping spree with officers from the Mt. Juliet Police Department, and each child received between $125 and $150 to spend.
Alaina Cosentino got a helping hand with her Christmas list after enduring a tough year. Her mother's had two surgeries recently.
"My mom, she has seizures, so we have some trouble with her. And she forgets easily," Cosentino said.
About 30 officers volunteered for the shopping event, hoping to convey to the community they are there for them, whatever they need.
"Oh, I'm enjoying it. I love seeing the smiles of these children. It just makes my day. It's one of the reasons I got into this profession. It's just the children," said Cpl. Thomas Shelton.
Now in its eighth year, the Christmas with a Cop program is made possible by donations from area businesses.
Walmart donated $2,000 to fund the shopping trips, Best Buy donated gift cards and after the shopping, everyone enjoyed pizza at Jonathan's after an anonymous donor picked up the tab.
"We're just blessed to be able to do what we're doing for the children this year," said Chief James Hambrick. "The support we get from the community has been fantastic."
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