PAL makes Christmas brighter for kids in need

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Submitted/Egg Harbor Township Police Officer Michael Palmentieri helps fifth grader Zahir McAllester of Egg Harbor Township shop for gifts with assistance of his mother and brother. Submitted/Egg Harbor Township Police Officer Michael Palmentieri helps fifth grader Zahir McAllester of Egg Harbor Township shop for gifts with assistance of his mother and brother.

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP – On Saturday, Dec.  8, approximately 120 disadvantaged and/or emotionally needy children and their families from throughout Atlantic County were treated like royalty as the local law enforcement community sponsored the second annual Shop With A Cop event at Walmart in Mays Landing. 

The Egg Harbor Township Police Athletic League hosted the second annual event with the support of Walmart, local law enforcement and the generosity of many donors and volunteers.

Shop With A Cop is a one-day event where uniformed police officers assist disadvantaged children with their holiday shopping, free of charge to the child.  This year 120 children from throughout Atlantic County will be sponsored – more than twice the amount as last year.  Many participants are displaced or have been affected by Hurricane Sandy.

The event for Egg Harbor Township children began at the Egg Harbor Township Police Athletic League Ready to Ride Center on Ridge Avenue, where they enjoyed breakfast and pictures with Santa and a display of various police cars and trucks.  The group then travelled to Walmart in a vehicle parade before being able to shop with the police officers and Walmart staff.

"To see their smiles is just great. We do this each year and it gets bigger every year," said Walmart store manager Mike Carney.  "It's been such a huge, huge success to see the kids come in here to do their shopping. To be able to buy their brothers, sisters, and parents some gifts. They're thinking with their hearts, which is really, really good.”

“The need in our area for this type of event is even greater than in the past. Many participants are displaced or have been affected by Superstorm Sandy, and this year we are hosting and coordinating the sponsorship of over twice as many children as last year,” said PAL Executive Director Hector Tavarez said.

Submitted/Egg Harbor Township Police Department officers welcome Santa to the annual Shop with A Cop, sponsored at Walmart in Mays Landing on Saturday, Dec. 8. Submitted/Egg Harbor Township Police Department officers welcome Santa to the annual Shop with A Cop, sponsored at Walmart in Mays Landing on Saturday, Dec. 8.


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