FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Sherriff’s Foundation of Broward County invited more than 100 students from across Broward County to a Fort Lauderdale Walmart for some holiday shopping Thursday morning.
For nearly 20 years, Broward Sheriff’s Office school resource deputies have run a Shop with the Sheriff program, which gives select elementary through high school students $200 to shop.
Each student is paired with a BSO volunteer, from deputies to civilian staff and more.
“Any time you put kids around toys and they have an opportunity to pick up some items they’re excited and that energy just kind of bounced off of everyone in here,” Sheriff Gregory Tony said.
Joining BSO volunteers were representatives from the Miami Heat, including the team’s mascot, Burnie, who caused a little holiday mischief and gave students bags stuffed with Miami Heat merchandise.
The event not only gives students with financial needs Christmas presents, but it also helps to build relationships between deputies and the community.
“It’s a good chance for them to see us in a positive light and understand that, hey we’re not just police officers, we’re human beings and we understand what’s going on in the community,” Tony said.
The foundation also partnered with Procter & Gamble to give out bags of toiletries.