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Shopping With Kids & Cops

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For most of us, one of our biggest concerns during the holidays is just figuring out what to get our loved ones for Christmas; but for those who are less fortunate, the question is if they’ll be able to afford presents.

Tuesday night, 50 lucky kids throughout the Sioux Empire went on a little shopping spree, making that one less thing their families have to worry about this holiday season.

For 5-year-old, Emily, if you were to ask her what she wanted for Christmas; odds are it would have something to do with Barbie.

But when she hit the aisles of Target on this $50 shopping spree, she wasn't only shopping for herself.  

“She keeps on insisting getting something for her family but her mother keeps saying, ‘it’s your day,” says Mercedes Garibay of the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Explorers.

For Garibay, it's up to her to make sure Emily gets to spend that money on whatever she wants.

“My family was very fortunate. We got a bunch of toys and knowing that other children can’t get the toys they really want; I’m just really glad our community does something like this for other children,” says Garibay.

For years, both Sioux Falls Target stores have been teaming up with The Banquet and law enforcement throughout the area for the annual Shopping With Kids and Cops. It’s an event that makes Christmas a little bit brighter for those less fortunate when times are tough.

“Every year, it’s 50 different kids. There are no repeats, so each year; it’s a whole new batch of kids who get this opportunity,” says Madeline Shileds of The Banquet in Sioux Falls.

Lance Mattson of the Sioux Falls Police Department has had the privilege of escorting kids through the store on their shopping spree for the past four years, and he’s seen it all.

“Sometimes kids will get more practical items like clothing items, or gifts for their family members, and sometimes they go right to the toy aisle,” says Mattson.

But no matter what these kids decide to do with their gift cards, seeing a smile in every check out aisle makes this event all worthwhile.

Before the event, each kid receives a personal invitation. That invitation acts as a ticket onto a trolley, which takes the kids to both Target stores in Sioux Falls where they meet with the police officers.
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