Elger Bay Elementary School fifth-grader Bradley Raven was excited.
It was Monday, Nov. 5, and he was going on a very special shopping trip with an Island County Sheriff’s deputy.
“I can’t wait to start shopping!” Bradley said, grinning with impatience.
He could spend up to $200 to pick out holiday gifts for himself and his family as part of the Camano Law Enforcement Support Foundation’s second annual Shop with a Cop program.
Camano Precinct Deputy Bill Vaughn, on his off-duty time, arrived in uniform with his patrol car and met up with Bradley and his family for the shopping trip at Walmart in Mount Vernon. Several Foundation members accompanied them.
Bradley thoughtfully picked out games and toys, including Battleship, Lego and a toy tool kit, for himself and his cousins. He was especially pleased to get an instant camera with additional film for himself. He also chose a pair of slippers and a buck knife for his grandparents.
“It’s awesome to get things for myself, but I’m glad I could also shop for my family,” he said.
His guardian, Lanette Raven, was pleased with her grandson’s shopping experience.
“He had fun but was a little overwhelmed,” she said. “He has a big heart and is very thoughtful and thankful.”
The gifts Bradley selected will be wrapped and the Foundation will deliver them to the family during the holidays.
Using donations from local businesses and individuals, the Foundation organizes holiday shopping trips for Camano students, accompanied by Camano Island deputy sheriffs.
Program chair and Foundation treasurer Earl Barnard said principals, teachers and counselors from Elger Bay and Utsalady elementary schools provide to the Foundation names of students who could benefit from the Shop with a Cop program.
“The Foundation has pledged $200 each for eight elementary students,” Barnard said. “We think it’s a wonderful experience for our local kids.”
Deputy Vaughn is an enthusiastic supporter of Shop with a Cop.
“This program is a great way for law enforcement to make a positive connection with the citizens in the communities we serve,” he said. “I want to thank the Foundation for sponsoring this event and the community for the donations that make this all possible.”