30 photos of kids shopping with first responders for the fifth annual Badges & Kids

Badges Kids2RAPID CITY, S.D. — Between 200 and 225 kids got the chance or still have the chance to go shopping with first responders for the fifth annual Badges & Kids at Rapid City’s Target.

There has been about $30,000 donated, which gives kids over $100 to pick out Christmas presents for their family, from toys to clothes to dog treats.

“It’s always good to watch these kids light up at Christmas time. But it also builds a relationship with first responders and these kids that wouldn’t normally be possible,” Jason Lahaie, Vice President of Black Hills Badges for Hope, said. “Most first responders are showing up at the worst time of somebody’s life, and here they’re able to interact one on one as humans together. That’s a bond that you just can’t replace.”

Lahaie also says that one of the law enforcement officers at the Badges & Kids was able to go shopping as a kid in another state as he grew up and “it comes full circle.”

30 photos of the fifth annual Badges & Kids:

The event spans across four days so that one night isn’t too busy.

Kids are picked with the help from local school districts, local law enforcement as well as community referrals.

Donations come from a few business sponsors in town, but the majority of them are citizens in western South Dakota. Community members are also the volunteers that wrap presents for the gifts that kids picked out.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News