FAIRFIELD — This was a Christmas to remember for 14 area children chosen to participate in a Shop with a Deputy event sponsored Saturday by the Solano County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association.
The principals from seven area schools were asked to choose the children to participate in this event based on need and school performance. The children ranged from second-graders to middle schoolers.
“The kids are underprivileged but put in a lot effort in school,” said Sgt. Brian Travis, fundraiser chairman and a member of the association’s governing board.
Each child received $150 for the shopping spree at the Solano Town Center mall.
“The money came from donations from local residents,” Travis said.
“Everything is so expensive,” he said. “We wanted them to get two or three nice things. We thought $50 would not be enough so we went with $150. This way they could get school supplies or clothes, and even get something for a sibling.”
Participants expressed their gratitude for the holiday support.
“This is perfect timing for us,” said Veronica McLin of Fairfield, who was there with her son Julian Anderson. “It is going to be a big help this Christmas.”
Nesha Reyes was excited about the opportunity for her girls, Amyah and Ariahan Robbins.
“This means a relief for us,” she said. Her daughters picked out pants, shoes and tops with the money they received. Her girls surprised her a bit by going straight for the clothing stores. “I thought they would go for toys,” she said.
Parents dropped the children off around 9 a.m., then two deputies per group escorted the children around the mall. Detective Mason Mineni of the Special Investigation Bureau and Deputy Deogracias Gaspar escorted Amyah and Ariahan, along with their mom and grandmother, to several stores.
Although this type of event has been done across the country in various areas, this is the first time for Solano County.
Volunteers for the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association called residents asking for donations, making it possible to help underprivileged children have a Christmas to remember. The association has some money left over from the fundraising, Travis said. It will not go to waste.
“We hope to continue this as a tradition,” Travis said. “The DSA plans to do more throughout the year for the community with the money we raised.”
Reach Susan Hiland at 427-6981 or email@example.com.