Bradenton Police hold 14th annual Honoring the Badge event

ABC7 News at 6pm
Published: Dec. 13, 2022 at 9:37 PM EST
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BRADENTON Fla. (WWSB) - The holiday season can be a tough financial time for many people. The Bradenton Police Department is helping relieve some of that stress for approximately 125 children and their families.

“We invite local families who we think maybe could use a little extra help over the holidays to bring their kids in,” Public Information Officer Meredith Frameli said. “We pair those kids up with one of our officers and they get to go on a shopping spree and buy whatever they want.”

Businesses and organizations who helped contribute included Cox Chevrolet, Kingdom Life Christian Church and Walmart.

Since the program’s inception in 2008, the event has helped more than 2,000 children.

Cheyenne Hawkins and her kids were one of the families selected to participate. Hawkins says things haven’t been easy for her, so having this opportunity meant a lot.

“I think it’s really neat that the cops in Bradenton actually do things like that for the community,” said Hawkins. “It’s really exciting to be honest. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to be able to do it because it’s been a really rough year with COVID and everything still going around and not being able to work a lot due to it. So, it’s a really blessed moment for us.”