By all accounts, this year’s Shop With A Cop event in Bonney Lake should be bigger than ever before. Last year, 22 kids in need—almost double from prior years—shopped for brand new Christmas presents with a Bonney Lake police officer and community volunteers. This was mostly due to community donations received from a special fundraising event hosted by Target.
But this year, after already arranging with Mountain View Middle, Emerald Hills Elementary and Bonney Lake Elementary to choose a new batch of kids for the charity program, Bonney Lake officer Todd Green received heartbreaking news—Target’s corporate offices wont allow the Shop with A Cop fundraiser to happen this year, due to corporate protocol about fundraising events inside its stores.
This year, Green and his buddy, McGruff the Crime Dog, aren't allowed to set up a table inside the store, pass out flyers and collect donations to help pay for Target gift cards, as they have in years past.
Bonney Lake’s Target will still host the annual event on Dec. 8 and officers will still be able to walk around the store with special kids in need. But, the number of kids who get to participate depends on community fundraising.
Last year’s fundraising event brought in $2,000 from the community to help give those 22 local children a better Christmas. Many of the kids who participated last year chose to spend their money on parents and siblings, or elected to purchase necessities, like warm clothes and jackets.
“Every dollar we make goes to the kids, then right back into Target’s pocket,” said Green.
Target has donated $250 to the event and the local police guild has already donated $500, Green said. But in order for the event to be a success—and for all the children who were nominated to still be able to participate—community donations are critical.
Target could not be reached for comment at time of publication.
If you want to donate to the Shop with a Cop program, please consider purchasing a Target gift card next time you’re in the store and drop it off at the Bonney Lake Police Department during business hours. Cash donations are also accepted. You can also mail donations to the Bonney Lake Police Department at 18421 Veterans Memorial Drive E, Bonney Lake, WA 98391.