'Shop with a Cop' helps Racine families in need this Christmas

The coronavirus almost canceled another event this year — "Shop with a Cop."

But thanks to some creative thinking by our men and women in uniform – they found a unique way to still bring Christmas to families in need.

"Delivery day for an extension of our 'Shop with a Cop' program," Lt. Walter Powell of the Racine Police Department

Lt. Walter Powell, Racine Police Department

With coronavirus almost put a stop to the ‘Shop with a Cop’ event this year, Racine county’s finest came up with a different solution – to keep the Christmas spirit alive.

"After about a week and a half of shopping through the night, and around the clock, ‘orchestrating good’ has done a wonderful job," Lt. Powell said. "And today is the delivery day – that officers from all law enforcement jurisdictions in our county are going deliver gifts to families in need."

Inside their base of operations, there are gifts and toys for more than 200 individuals —including parents.

"We gave them, actually, when possible, we gave them everything they wanted," he said. "There were spreadsheets, there were phone calls made, interviewing parents." 

And with a little help from the big man in red…

"It wasn’t easy to get him, he’s booked, as you can imagine, but he’s vaccinated and he’s ready to go," Lt. Powell said.

They were ready to start making deliveries.

One of the recipients getting a house call is the Ellis family.

Dominique Ellis

"Santa did, and that meant a lot for my little ones," Dominique Ellis said.

For them, 2020 has been tough.

"In March, my kids lost their grandfather," Ellis said. "Two days later, my baby was born, and then in May, they lost their dad."

But today, there are smiles — and happy tears.

"Yeah, and I don’t know if you heard what Jordan said, but he said, ‘Santa, I knew you were going to make it!'" Ellis said.

While today’s gift-giving event is over – there are still opportunities to give back.

If you live in the Racine area and want to play a part in it, you’re encouraged to reach out to the Racine Police Department.