Shop with a Cop event helps families in need

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HAZLE TWP., LUZERNE COUNTY (WOLF) -- Local state troopers are teaming up with a Hazleton community center and Walmart, bringing Christmas cheer and spreading the importance of giving to children and families in need.

This isn’t your average Saturday morning shopping trip.

Trooper Justin Magluilo is helping Jesus and Patricia pick out Christmas gifts for their parents.

Its all a part of Shop with a Cop, a national program that pairs children in need with police officers.

It gets them out shopping to purchase gifts for their families at no cost to them.

“My mom works a lot to give us – she have a good work and she always came tired and I feel good they gave this to us because I can get stuff for the house.”

Jesus Rivera is 12-years-old. He says his mom has a job that requires her to stand and she’s often tired when she comes home.

He helps her out around the house by cooking and cleaning, so today, he bought some new pots for their kitchen.

And he spreads his kindness even to strangers.

He only met Patricia today, when they were paired up to shop together.

She only speaks Spanish, so he’s acting as her translator.

“I know how to talk Spanish and English, so I help somebody that needs help,” Jesus said.

That’s what today’s shopping trip is all about.

Pennsylvania State Police Troop N teamed up with the Hazle Township Walmart to put it all together, with the Walmart Foundation donating $1500 to cover all the costs.

The Hazleton One Center recommended 20 children in need for the program and each child got $75 towards gifts for their families and something for themselves.

“A lot of these kids we’ve just met today, so we’re starting good relationships with them. They’re understanding that the gift of giving is more important than receiving, taking care of each other, and just having fun,” Tpr. Anthony Petroski said.

For Jesus, that message is one he knows well.

“I feel happy because I can give her something.”

Police say they will be hosting the event again next year and hope to make it even bigger and better.

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