Federal Way youngsters ‘Shop with a Cop’

Jennifer Quintero, 16, does some Christmas shopping at Best Buy with Lt. John Stieben during Monday
Jennifer Quintero, 16, does some Christmas shopping at Best Buy with Lt. John Stieben during Monday's Shop with a Cop event.
— image credit: Jacinda Howard, The Mirror

A handful of school students were given an early Christmas surprise Monday when they participated in the Shop with a Cop event.

Youngsters and teens were picked up at home by police officers and taken to Federal Way's Best Buy for the store's second annual Shop with a Cop affair.

"We are a big company, but we want to be involved in our community locally," general manager Matt Robertson said. "We want to give back."

At the store, Best Buy staff presented each of the 10 students with gifts valuing $180. The students unwrapped presents, including a DVD player, DVDs, a digital photograph keychain and a $50 gift card.

The kids then got the opportunity to spend their gift cards. Police officers helped them shop. Video games, music and movies were popular items among the students.

Some of them chose items for themselves. Andy Velasco, 11, looked at video games and bounced around the store playing with toys and electronic gadgets on display. He said he was looking for toys for himself.

Other students used their gift cards to buy items for their loved ones. Jennifer Quintero, 16, said she didn't want to buy anything for herself. Instead, she shopped for her sister and mom.

All the students are involved in the Federal Way School District's AmeriCorps Camelot Square After School Program. Their families are considered in-need. Each of the students have participated in the after school program, where they play games, do homework and participate in service projects for more than two years, AmeriCorps volunteer Adam Wahlen said.

The Shop with a Cop program is not limited to the Federal Way Best Buy. Robertson said he has been involved with the event for the past five years.

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