“I want that one,” a little girl squealed with delight Saturday morning as she pointed to a toy at Walmart in Denison. She was one of dozens of little ones shopping for toys with Denison police and firemen at the Denison Kiwanis Club’s annual event.
Fred Pilkilton, a long-time member of the Denison Kiwanis, said 36 children were part of the annual Shop with a Cop experience.
“We are a Denison club trying to help Denison people,” Pilkilton said.
The group raises money all year long to fund the shopping day in which the children are each given $50 and a helper to pick out their Christmas toys. They then invite the first responders from the Denison Police Department and Fire Department to act as shopping guides.
Jaxton Wilson, 5, found a sea patrol set that he wanted to take home and keep. His father said his autism made it a little hard for Jaxton to say what he was feeling about the experience, but the look in his eyes when he spotted the toy set let everyone know exactly what his thoughts were.
Det. Stuart Prigge said this wasn’t his first time shopping with the little ones and it probably won’t be his last.
“It’s fun watching the kids,” he said as the little girl who picked him as her shopping partner made her way down a row of toys. “They just get so excited. They are just overwhelmed by all of the toys and it is innocent.”
Prigge said it is different from shopping for his grandchildren because the children are actually there and he can see the joy on their faces.
“It is just a way to give back (to the community),” he said.
Four-year-old Aryanna Craver, didn’t know she was going to get to go shopping on Saturday morning. Her mom said all the child knew was that she was going to get a surprise.
“It really was a surprise,” Aryanna said as she looked over the toys in front of her.
Denison Kiwanis has been doing the shopping experience for local children consecutively since 1990.