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Bonney Lake’s ‘Shop With A Cop’ Program Forced to Drop Fundraising Event, Needs Community Support More than Ever

Bonney Lake’s ‘Shop with a Cop’ connects local officers to children in need during the holidays. The program needs community support more than ever, after Target’s corporate offices canceled the program’s annual fundraising event.

By all accounts, this year’s Shop With A Cop event in Bonney Lake should be bigger than ever before. Last year, 22 kids in need—almost double from prior years—shopped for brand new Christmas presents with a Bonney Lake police officer and community volunteers. This was mostly due to community donations received from a special fundraising event hosted by Target.

But this year, after already arranging with Mountain View Middle, Emerald Hills Elementary and Bonney Lake Elementary to choose a new batch of kids for the charity program, Bonney Lake officer Todd Green received heartbreaking news—Target’s corporate offices wont allow the Shop with A Cop fundraiser to happen this year, due to corporate protocol about fundraising events inside its stores.

This year, Green and his buddy, McGruff the Crime Dog, aren't allowed to set up a table inside the store, pass out flyers and collect donations to help pay for Target gift cards, as they have in years past.

Bonney Lake’s Target will still host the annual event on Dec. 8 and officers will still be able to walk around the store with special kids in need. But, the number of kids who get to participate depends on community fundraising.

Last year’s fundraising event brought in $2,000 from the community to help give those 22 local children a better Christmas. Many of the kids who participated last year chose to spend their money on parents and siblings, or elected to purchase necessities, like warm clothes and jackets.

“Every dollar we make goes to the kids, then right back into Target’s pocket,” said Green.

Target has donated $250 to the event and the local police guild has already donated $500, Green said. But in order for the event to be a success—and for all the children who were nominated to still be able to participate—community donations are critical.

Target could not be reached for comment at time of publication.

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If you want to donate to the Shop with a Cop program, please consider purchasing a Target gift card next time you’re in the store and drop it off at the Bonney Lake Police Department during business hours. Cash donations are also accepted. You can also mail donations to the Bonney Lake Police Department at 18421 Veterans Memorial Drive E, Bonney Lake, WA 98391.

T_Kay November 16, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Kathleen, I never said it was a good policy, but I get it. So when Target doesn't authorize solicitation for one group, and they go public saying how this large corporation doesn't support their cause, then what? I can see both sides. Like I said before, it's sad the children suffer from this, but we, as a community, need to support the cause so they still get to shop with a cop.
K_G November 16, 2012 at 07:09 AM
T_Kay, I agree we need to come together as a community and support the shop a cop so the children still get their needs met. I am 100% ready to donate as soon as the event is moved to a different store. I do not agree with the Target policy, and to roll-over and say "shame on you Target now here's $100 for gift cards so you can profit from this event is NOT sending the right message to Target's corporate level. If they choose to stand on this policy then they can do it without my money. As soon as the event is moved to another store, I will be first in line to donate to the cause!
Kathleen November 16, 2012 at 08:57 PM
This is my response to Target when they contcted me to say they will not change their policy as they do not want their "guests" to be distracted in their stores: "Thank you for your response Mike. I am taking your response in its' entirety and sending it to the few thousand households I have in my work data base. I and my family will not shop at Target. Your grant to Shop with a Cop is $250...wow..I mean wow as understated. I will not buy a Target gift card for donation to the Shop with a Cop program and I will encourage the police department to "partner" with more deserving corporations than Target. I have disposable income which will not be spent in Target. I have now evaluated my partnership with Target and must inform you it has ended. I will encourage others to do the same"
Lauren Padgett November 16, 2012 at 09:54 PM
One of our readers emailed Target's corporate offices and got a response. He has shared it with us.. here it is: "Target partners year-round with local law enforcement across the country, including the Bonney Lake Police Department. Working with the Bonney Lake Police Department, we annually evaluate how we can partner to make a positive impact in the community. As a part of that, since 2007, Target has supported the Bonney Lake Shop with a Cop program with a grant to help kids in need buy holiday gifts for their families. We remain committed to the Shop with a Cop program and are partnering closely with the local police department to make this year’s event a success. Target is focused on creating a great shopping experience for our guests, which includes providing them with a distraction-free shopping environment. Therefore, we prohibit solicitation or petitioning at our stores regardless of the cause or issue being represented. We continue to educate our stores across the country to ensure they have a thorough understanding of Target’s policies. Target donates 5 percent of our profits to communities—more than $4 million per week—and hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours each year to non-profit organizations across the country and continuously evaluate our partnerships to ensure they are supporting the community." Sincerely, Benjamin Target Executive Offices
Jim Davey November 17, 2012 at 03:52 PM
I am a retired English Traffic Cop who spent a morning with BLPD in Sept 2011 so I am posting a donation to this very worthy cause

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