ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando Police Officers rolled into Academy Sports + Outdoors Friday on a mission to shop, not for themselves, but for 10 kids at the Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida.
“This means so much to us. These children would not have anything to open on Christmas if it wasn’t for the community and this event,” said Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida V.P. of Development Sarah Johnston.
“I selected a skateboard and some other things to help a child be active because that would have meant a lot to me,” OPD Officer Marcus Hyatt said.
Each officer got $100 to spend in the store for a child. They were given the age and gender so they could find appropriate gifts.
Shades with the Orlando Solar Bears got in on the shopping spree, helping the officers tap into their inner child. The officers tested out many of the gifts playing catch with balls and passing frisbees throughout the store.
While the officers were inside, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer was outside dressed as Santa for the morning, raising money for the Boys & Girls Club on the radio.
“Obviously 2020 has been rough for everybody whether it was health or financially, so to be able to put a smile on their faces with a little extra Christmas and spirit makes me feel really good,” Officer Hannah Crowe said.
Carts were filled with fishing poles, games and sports equipment all to help families in need this holiday season.
“The important thing for the Boys & Girls Club is that they get a moment to be children and get away from their adult problems, I am speechless on how appreciative we are for this opportunity,” said Johnston.
Academy Sports also donated some equipment to the Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida and presented them with $1,000, a gifts they hope will help support local kids through after school programming and mentorship.