Originally, the program was designed for children whose parents are incarcerated; its aim was to give the children a different, more favorable view of law enforcement. They were given a gift card and a cop buddy to shop with at the Poulsbo Wal-Mart. The program has expanded to include school-aged children whose families can't afford a good Christmas, and this year, homeless teenagers (who are in school) were the focus.
Now, in addition to law enforcement, volunteers include Kitsap County firefighters, C.O.Ps, Washington Army National Guard, US Army, US Navy, US Airforce and US Coastguard. When we walked into Wal Mart a half hour early, we were literally greeted by a wall of uniform. I'm pretty sure the store saw a huge drop in shop lifting that day.
I get disgustingly proud and emotional when I watch
him do things like this
Paul's kid, a 17 year old girl with a 3 month old son
That kinda got to me, but at the same time...
Now on to Maxine, Paul's mom, and her integral part in the event...as Mrs. Claus! She's perfect for the part, both in looks and in spirit. Her Christmases are legendary (so I hear). She's teaching me to not be a Scrooge!
Maxine with her boys, Paul, Chris and Chubz
While the boys did their thing, Tiffany, Rene, the kids and I did some serious shopping. Is it sad that we were excited to go to the big Wal-Mart? I dropped a few dollars, but had a lot of fun doing it.
Max and her hunny, Bill (or Santa? you never know...)
Maybe it's because I'm still new to being an Army S.O., but when I see Paul in his uniform, doing his thing, I feel like my heart will burst with love for him and pride for his service. Not just him, but his brothers, too.