‘Shop with a Hero’ has been held at the Alpena Meijer for the last eight years as members of local police, fire, and other departments receive $100 gift cards and shop with children in need for the holiday season.
The participation from the departments is something Meijer appreciates and always welcomes them back to help out the community.
“It’s just a great community partnership and I know from talking to them that they enjoy this event every year and look forward to it year after year,” said Warren Richter, store director at the Alpena Meijer.
For some members of the force, it’s their first year doing shop with a hero, as WBKB highlighted a few of the MSP’s newest troopers. They were thrilled to be involved with such a great cause.
“It’s a real honor to be able to come out here with the community and do everything,” said Trooper Jacob Bruski of the Michigan State Police Alpena Post. “A lot of our job is seeing people on their worst day and things like that, so to be able to come up here and spread some Christmas cheer and make sure that these kids have a really good holiday with their families is very nice.”
Not only do they get to provide Christmas cheer to children, but they also provide a potential role model for them as well.
“They’re looking at law enforcement in a good way since they’re little and they’re growing up thinking that law enforcement is good,” said Trooper Karissa Rabeau. “In older generations, sometimes they might not have good interpretations of law enforcement, but growing up, going shopping with law enforcement, it’s good. It’s good for the community.”
Meijer also understands the strong sense of community among all the departments and the people they serve, which is why they hold the event every year.
“It’s amazing that they do this that they organize it and have everybody come out,” said Bruski. “The fundraising, the generosity of everybody who do this is just remarkable.”
Other departments will continue to give back to the community in several different ways this holiday season.