SARASOTA, Fla. – The Sarasota Housing Authority, Sarasota Police Department, Target, and Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) are partnering to provide 150 underprivileged children with a unique opportunity to literally ‘Shop with a Cop’ for holiday gifts in Sarasota.
This year, Sarasota Housing Authority will pair 150 local children they serve in the community with local law enforcement to shop for holiday gifts at a local Target store.
The event will be held Saturday, December 10, 2022, from 6 a.m. until 8 a.m. at Target, 5350 Fruitville Road, Sarasota. **Journalists are welcome and invited to attend**
“This special event showcases SHA’s commitment to providing positive, uplifting experiences for our youth, while promoting mutual respect with our Sarasota Police partner,” said Sarasota Housing Authority CEO William Russell.
“Many of our kids who have participated in past events reminisce about what a positive experience it was to shop with and get to know SPD officers.”
“Shop with a Cop is an annual event both sworn and civilian members of our agency are humbled to volunteer at,” said Chief Rex Troche, Sarasota Police Department. “We’ve partnered with the Sarasota Housing Authority for more than a decade to foster strong relationships with children in our community. We’re looking forward to another year of building relationships with local children and their families, especially during the holidays at this special shopping event.”
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SHA raises over $15,000 for this event through its 501c3 affiliate Sarasota Housing Funding Corporation. This year’s event was made possible through donations by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Communities Unified, Target, First Horizon Foundation, Gary Dornbush, United Universalist Social Justice Committee, and other private donors.
Charlie Hugill and Aubrey Robbins, two sophomores who founded their charity “Communities Unified,” said, “We are excited to help give kids the experience to interact and shop with the Sarasota Law Enforcement during the holiday season. When we founded Communities Unified, these were the exact type of events we wanted to be involved with.”
Donations provide Target gift cards. Officers will use it at checkout for each of the 150 children. Those citizens wishing to donate can do so through the SHA’s 501(c)3 affiliate, Sarasota Housing Funding Corporation (SHFC).
Checks can be made payable to Sarasota Housing Funding Corporation with Shop with a Cop’ in the memo line. Checks or cash donations can be dropped off at the Sarasota Housing Authority, 269 South Osprey Avenue, Sarasota.