NEW LENOX – Dozens of Will County kids were able to start their holiday shopping a little early this year thanks to Target and the Will County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team.
About 40 kids were able to partner with a member of the SWAT team, get some Target gift cards and pick out whatever they wanted. This opportunity for children from families in need comes through the Heroes and Helpers event, which is administered through a $4,000 grant from Target.
“The parents appreciate it,” said Lt. Joe Boers of the Will County SWAT team. “The kids love it. I think it’s good for us to get out there and interact with the community in a positive way. I know each one of these guys and girls that we have with us today, they love it. They have a blast.”
The event also was coupled with another opportunity the Will County Sheriff’s Office likes to do to interact with the community in a positive way – Touch-a-Truck. The officers lined up armored and other vehicles right outside the Target in New Lenox for kids and their families to see what they look like up close and inside. The department even brought along one of its K-9s for the kids to meet.
The Heroes and Helpers event is a part of the chain store’s Target & BLUE effort to partner with local law enforcement departments. Events such as Heroes and Helpers happen in more than 200 communities in Targets all over the country.
Will County Sheriff Mike Kelley praised this event as an opportunity not only for the kids and parents, but also for his department because he said he felt it important for residents to be able to interact with officers not only in situations where they are in distress.
“We don’t always want to be there just when people are in need of us,” Kelley said. “We want to be able to go out there proactively and help the community out, too.”