Almost 200 children participated in the 9th Annual Shop with a Cop event Wednesday night at Target, located at 18305 Alderwood Mall Parkway in Lynnwood.
To kick off the evening, Santa arrived at 6 p.m. in a fire engine to talk to the children and pose for pictures.
Law enforcement, firefighters, first responders and other municipal staff then shopped for toys with the children. Represented this year were personnel from Lynnwood, Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo and Seattle, as well as military personnel from the Army, Navy and Marines.
The children were given a gift card, and a volunteer accompanied them to “let them know how much they can spend so they can stay within their budget,” said a volunteer.
After shopping, families were treated to snacks, courtesy of Target.
When asked how he finds the energy to keep this event going each year, organizer Seaun Richards said, “When you see the kids come around with smiles on their faces as they come around the corner and see all those cops and firefighters and military, it’s worth every hour we put into it.”
For the last nine years, the CheeseburgerBabies foundation, the charitable arm of Red Onion Burgers in Mountlake Terrace, has made the annual event their major priority. This year will mark 1,000 kids shopping with the help of Edmonds School District, the Lynnwood Target store, Red Onion Burgers, Emerald City Harley-Davidson, police, fire and military.
–Story and photos by David Carlos