girl with toy Over two dozen Maui Police Department officers played Santa Claus to 30 kids this weekend as part of the annual "Shop for a Cop" event, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: Law enforcement officials take children from a local shelter for homeless families to Kmart, give each kid a shopping cart, and help them choose up to $100 worth of merchandise. FREE SHOPPING SPREE!

As for what sort of "merchandise" the kids went for, well, since the ages ranged from 4 to 14 years old, their picks were pretty much all over the map ...

But, naturally, practical stuff like tube socks and underwear weren't tops on anybody's list. These kids wanted -- and deserved -- toys!

I honestly wonder who gets more of a kick out of this event: The cops or the kids? I mean, of course the kids are ecstatic, but as a mom, I can't even begin to imagine how heartwarming it must be for the police officers to give underprivileged kids the run of a Kmart toy department during the holidays. Even the employees get involved, apparently, dressing up like elves for the occasion. There's a "Santa" on hand, too, giving out gift-wrapped surprises (in addition to the $100).

The shopping spree was funded by Kmart and the Kiwanis clubs of South Maui and Kahului (hint, hint, other organizations every place else!). And, of course, the Christmas spirit.

Do you think the kids or the cops get more out of this Christmas shopping spree?

 

Image via Rain0975/Flickr