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West St. Paul Police and South Metro Fire teamed up to offer Heroes and Helpers, a program where kids pair up with a police officer or fire fighter to buy presents for their family. This year’s event helped out 29 West St. Paul families and a total of 58 kids.
Every child received a gift card for shopping at Walmart with a first responder, but that wasn’t all. Each family also received a Cub Foods gift card and each child went home with a stocking filled with candy and goodies.
Shopping happened in shifts, and while kids waited their turn they had a party at the Dakota Lodge at Thompson Park, including food, music, arts and crafts, face painting, book giveaway, and special visits from Santa Claus and Klondike Kate.
An event like this doesn’t happen without support, including event sponsors the South Robert Street Business Association, AMVETS, and Dunham’s. A big thanks goes out to the police officers and fire fighters, their family members, staff at Garlough Environmental Magnet School, and other volunteers.
Community members also saw the event happening and stepped up to help. When two Walmart customers saw the shopping in action, they made a cash donation on the spot.
Photos courtesy of West St. Paul Police Department.
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