The Mundelein Police Department, Mundelein Fire Department and the Mundelein Super Target recently teamed up to help make the holidays happier for a record number of children in need through the annual "Shop With A Cop" event.
Children were nominated to participate in this program by police department personnel, school employees, and social service agencies in Lake County. In total, 66 children each received a $100 gift certificate to purchase items on their Christmas wish list and spend some quality time with police and fire personnel.
"I can't say enough about the support we have received from Mundelein residents and the business community for this program," Mundelein Police Chief Eric Guenther said.
"Thanks to their generosity, we were able to help 16 more children than last year, and my officers tell me this is their favorite community event. It's really an amazing experience to watch the officers interact with the kids and see the positive connection take place.
"Plus, so many times, the children will want to purchase something for everyone in their family before they even think about finding something for themselves."
Each officer involved was assigned one to two families to help each child shop for items on their list and keep track of the available funds.
"We're very excited to be involved with this event again this year," said Mundelein Fire Chief Tim Sashko. "It's one of those events that just makes you feel like you're doing something worthwhile. It's great to be with the kids and help make their holiday a little brighter.
"Many of the children we assist have basic needs that need to be met like clothing, socks and underwear, and they can become a little shy about telling us this. So we keep the entire experience fun and upbeat for them and let them know that it's cool to purchase things other than toys," Sashko explains.
Mundelein's 2013 "Shop With A Cop" program was entirely made possible by generous donations from Medline Charitable Foundation; Super Target; Mundelein Police Academy Alumni Association; the Mellon Family; the Parmelee Family; the Seeger Family; Ray Smith; and Mike's Appliance Repair in Libertyville.
"This is the 15th year that the Mundelein Police Department has coordinated this special program for our community, and I am very grateful for the financial support we received from our donors," Guenther said.
"It feels great to help out children and families in need, and it's another way for us to give back to the community we care so much about and do our best to protect."