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Local cops assist kids with Christmas shopping


Ten Chaffee County law enforcement officers, from the Buena Vista and Salida police departments, Colorado State Patrol, and the Sheriff’s Office, participated in this year’s annual Student Holiday Outing with Police (SHOP).  For about three hours, lawmen accompanied fourth graders selected from Buena Vista and Salida schools as they shopped for Christmas gifts at local stores. 

The event was organized by Anna Johnson of the Salida school district who contributed significant time and effort to the project; Andrew Miller, from the Buena Vista school district; and Sheriff’s Sgt. Derek Bos, representing the Fraternal Order of Police.

After breakfast donated by the Country Bounty Restaurant, the adventure began.  Each student was allotted one hundred dollars and almost all downtown Salida businesses give the kids fifty percent off any store item.  Most purchase basic necessities such as toilet paper, bedding, clothes, and kitchen ware.  One even bought a vacuum cleaner.  Although the kids are allowed to purchase a gift for themselves, few of them do, choosing instead to spend the money on their families.

Family gifts like board games were donated by Hilton Lumber.  Pizza Works and Moonlight Pizza donated to a family night out: food and drinks for the kids and their entire families.

Sgt. Bos, an enthusiastic participant every year, told us, “It’s definitely a great event!”