Local law enforcement spreads holiday cheer to kids in the Box Elder community with annual event


A Young Child With A Sheriffs Deputy Picking Out ClothesRAPID CITY, S.D.– One of the biggest things kids of any age look forward to when Christmas rolls around is waking up to presents under the Christmas tree. Local law enforcement officers were out in Box Elder on Sunday to make sure a group of kids from the Box Elder community have a happy holiday. Deputy Victor Gust of the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office explained the importance of their “Shoppin’ With a Sheriff” event.

What is Shoppin’ with a Sheriff?

Shoppin’ With a Sheriff is a holiday program where members of the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, police officers, and even highway patrol members gather together with kids in the community and take them Christmas shopping. Now in its third year, the program has been around for about six years but was previously under a different name, Deputy Gust says. “They also have a food care package that will go home with them, too,” he added. “We will go back to the high school and we’ll have lunch, which was donated by Domino’s this year. We will wrap presents out in the library and have lunch with the kids and then send them home with the presents and their food care package.”

How does it work?

This year, Gust says the program had 20 kids participating and picking out gifts for their families. Each child receives a limit of $200 dollars to select items for themselves and their families. “We have talked with several families over the years,” Deputy Gust said. “And you know, things get tight this time of year with their jobs or financial stress. So it is just nice to go help out the families and provide for them.”

The kids are of course excited to pick out their gifts but are just as happy when selecting the ones for their family members. “It’s great to see them get excited to pick out stuff for their siblings or even for some of the kids might just be shopping for themselves and their mom or dad,” he said. “So it is great to see them sit there and think about what mom or dad might like and being excited to get something for their parents too.”

Why is this so important for the families?

“Some of the stuff they don’t ever get a chance to get or may not have gotten this year,” Gust added. Not only spreading holiday cheer, but also creating a positive experience with law enforcement for children. “So to see them get excited with the toys or even some of the clothes that they pick out and put on the hats and coats and shoes on before even walking out of the store. It’s just great to get to see the smile on their face and how much they enjoy it.”

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News