A woman shopping at the Lee’s Summit Walmart knew immediately what the police officer was up to.
“You here to get the kids presents?” the elderly woman asked Michael Reese, a Lee’s Summit Police Officer. Reese helped organized the Lee’s Summit Police Officers Association’s 26th annual Shop With A Cop event Dec. 11 at Walmart, 1000 N.E. Sam Walton Lane.
The event included 13 elementary school children residing in Lee’s Summit, escorted by police officers volunteering their time to help the children select gifts for themselves and their families. Each child had a stipend of $350 and funding came from a variety of individuals and businesses in Lee’s Summit, whose generosity made it possible for the LSPOA’s annual holiday give-back.
“That’s wonderful,” the woman said to Reese as she made her way out of the store. “Thank you so much. We sure appreciate it.”
Reese was just the point man for an organization that since October has planned to bring joy to the dozen or so Lee’s Summit children chosen by their teachers to receive the shopping experience.
“We get great response from the public out here at Walmart,” said Reese, co-chair of this year’s event along with fellow LSPOA member Aaron Evans. Evans is a sergeant with the Lee’s Summit Police Department. “We really do…What’s really unique about it is that we allow the teachers within the schools to select the children. That’s been a really big part of it.”
Reese estimated more than two dozens police officers and police department personnel assisted in the effort and provided a list of 13 business or civic organizations that donated to the cause.
“It’s quite demanding,” Reese said. “Just getting everybody on board, getting everything aligned so it all works out. Just like anything else it seems crazy but it all falls together in the end.”