'Shop with a Cop' in North Port brings holiday spirit to residents impacted by Hurricane Ian

More than 120 kids were picked for the North Port Police Department's "Shop with a Cop" event this year.  

The 128 kids there got to go around Walmart with a North Port police officer and choose gifts for themselves, their families and their friends.

Thanks to donations from local businesses and community partners, they raised enough money for each child to spend up to $150.

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"We start out with a certain amount of money that we know we can work with and then through the generous donations, we keep adding to the list," said NPPD Sgt. Scott Miranda. "We start out with normally 10 kids per school, and then as we fundraise, we contact each school back and say ‘hey, you can add another three, you can add another four or five,' until we exhaust all of our money."

This year’s "Shop with a Cop" event feels a bit different this year, because so many families have been impacted by Hurricane Ian.

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Joseph and Iris Quintana, whose kids were picked for "Shop with a Cop," said their roof came off during Hurricane Ian. They said repairs are expected to start soon, so they can go home. 

"My wife used the term ‘stolen Christmas,’ the storm kind of stole our Christmas, so it’s things like this that are going to help put that back together," said the Quintana's.