San Mateo County sheriff hosts first-ever 'Shop with a Hero' event for 100 kids

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Thursday, December 21, 2023
San Mateo Co. sheriff hosts 1st 'Shop with a Hero' event for 100 kids
The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office is hosted its first "Shop with a Hero" event on Thursday, just four days before Christmas.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office is hosted its first "Shop with a Hero" event on Thursday, just four days before Christmas.

In what might be the safest Target in San Mateo County -- let alone the state -- 100 kids from across the county received $200 to go on a holiday shopping spree.

But before the shopping started, they each got paired up with a hero of their own.

"She's going to do the list. I'm just going to push the cart and help her out and add up some totals, and we'll go from there," said Michael Garcia, a detective with the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.

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That means police officers, firefighters, Marines and more -- the heroes that can help spot a Spider-Man from aisles away.

"So it's really important for them to see us in a different way and just to know that if they'll ever need to call upon us, that they'll be able to trust us," said Sheriff Christina Corpus of San Mateo County.

Corpus says the first-ever "Shop with a Hero" event was one of her goals for her first year in office, all funded through private donations.

The kids involved have each been through some sort of trauma or unfortunate event in the past year.

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"We've had some children that have lost their parents in some cases," she said. "We have two children that have lost their mother to domestic violence, and so we really wanted to try to at least make them, put a little smile on their face."

And while some are planning to shop for other people too...

"Well, I really like helping people, so I think it's a great idea to buy presents for people that need help for Christmas," said 10-year old Kennedy Sprangers from Half Moon Bay.

Others are there looking up to the heroes they want to become someday.

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"When I grow up, I want to be a police and she wants to be like a police too!" said shopper Kimberly.

After shopping wraps up at Target, each shopper and their hero get to have lunch together, take photos with Santa and wrap gifts.

"I mean this is what it's all about, right? This is why we get into this job, this is where we can actually make a difference and an impact on young children and hopefully keep them on the right path and be productive citizens," Garcia said.

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