Moshay Turner, 14, decided to spend her $60 on a Razor scooter. To her delight, she had enough left over for a Lego set.
Moshay and her siblings, Myia, 11, and Malik, 9, were among about 60 children chosen to go on a Christmas shopping spree organized by the Chicago Police Department on Sunday.
Each Christmas season, CPD partners with a business for their annual “Shop with a Cop” community outreach event. This year, the Turner children were among 15 families nominated by faith and youth organizations in Chicago. The chosen families spent the morning shopping in groups with uniformed officers at Toys ‘R’ Us, which offered each child about $60 to spend however they wanted.
Community Outreach Officer Gretchen Chavez said the event was designed to foster goodwill in the community.
“Sometimes the kids will come in and they’re not that excited,” Chavez said. “Then their hesitation to be with the police kind of wears off.”
Moshay said the officer who accompanied her was “really helpful.”
“You don’t really talk to police officers on a regular basis,” Moshay said. “It helps to not judge a book by its cover.”
Myia, an animal lover, spent her money on a stuffed giraffe — her favorite animal — as well as a toy cat, tiger keychain and scooter wheels that clip on to her shoes. Her brother, Malik, got a drone. Moshay warned him he “better not fly it in the house.” The most popular toy of the day? Pokemon cards, Chavez said.
Chavez, who has worked on the event a few years in a row, volunteered to come in on her day off. While the whole affair is as boisterous as a Christmas morning, it also can be sobering. Chavez said last year one girl in her group chose to spend her money on diapers for her newborn little sister. This year the same thing happened.
“I told her you better pick something out for yourself,” Chavez said. “I’ll buy it.”
Before she left, Moshay wanted be sure to thank the officers.
“Thank you and it was a wonderful experience,” Moshay said.