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'Shop with a Cop' helping Silicon Valley youth, families

Friday in the South Bay, children shopped for school supplies with law enforcement.
Friday, July 18, 2014
Friday in the South Bay, children shopped for school supplies with San Jose police and California Highway Patrol officers.

It is a fun event and for one family, it's something that's helping them deal with a horrible tragedy.

San Jose police officer Steve Robinson and soon to be high school freshman Sabrina Calvillon met on Friday but they already feel like family.

"It's just, I pretend he's my mom and I'm shopping with my mom," said Calvillon.

"It's like shopping with my daughter and my granddaughters all over again," said Robinson.

They're taking part in "Shop with a Cop of Silicon Valley" at a Target store in San Jose.

The organization asks other community groups to bring in a handful of kids who need some help buying their school supplies and clothes.

Sometimes socks are more than just socks. For the Alejo family, it's something a grieving father doesn't have to think about; providing to his three young daughters.

They've had a tough year. On April 29, his wife and the girls' mother, 28-year-old Teresa Maravilla was stabbed to death in her San Jose apartment by a relative. The world for Baltazar Alejo and his girls changed in an instant.

"And I reached out to him, kind of, to see where he was at, if he needed any resources and he said, 'I'm lost. I have no help. A lot of people are saying 'I'm going to call you back with this and that,' but at this point, I have no income coming in and I have no idea what people are, you know, saying because of the language barrier,'" said Miriam Villanueva of East Side Heroes.

New shoes and school supplies don't take away the pain, but it does help the Alejo family move forward.

The officers feel a responsibility to the young victims that doesn't end at the cash register.

"When tragedy strikes families as in this circumstances, police officers pull out all the stops especially when it comes to children. A loss of a parent is tragic enough but their circumstances really touch us in a way that we want to keep that connection going," Darrell Cortez with Shop with a Cop Silicon Valley.

That connection continues. The organization is also helping the Alejo family find a new place to live and with the children's charter school uniforms.

The next Shop with a Cop event comes at Christmas time.

If you'd like to help the Alejo family or donate to "Shop with a Cop Silicon Valley" go to http://www.shopwithacopsv.com/.
Related Topics:
shopping santa clara county SJPD CHP california San Jose
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