CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – A program to strengthen the bond between law enforcement and the community is coming back for its second year.

Cambria County’s Shop with a Cop program allows children to go Christmas shopping with local police officers, creating positive impacts on their lives.

Director Allyson Lonas believes positive police interactions benefit the community, but emphasizes the importance of giving rather than receiving.

“Some of these kids are not buying for themselves they were buying for others because they have never had the opportunity to give like that and to see the look on their faces to be able to choose gifts for people they care about is something you can not explain,” Lonas said.

The event helps rekindle bonds between children and law enforcement. The children the cops pair up with are victims of crime, financial hardships or they experienced trauma with law enforcement.

The number of children each year continues to increase, and Lonas said “It is important to have events like these to build relationships .”

Children and their officers receive $150 to buy anything besides electronics and violent toys. They are currently still looking for donations to go towards the program. You can choose to sponsor a child through a $150 or $50 donation.

You can donate through the Cambria County Shop with a Cop website or make a check payable to “Shop With a Cop” and mail it to:

Community Foundation for the Alleghenies

216 Franklin Street, Suite 400

Johnstown, PA 15901

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You can learn more about the program and how to donate here.