Tulsa Deputies Go Christmas Shopping With Local Kids In Need

Sunday, December 5th 2021, 9:51 pm

TULSA, Oklahoma -

Tulsa County Deputies went Christmas shopping with local kids in need and their families.

12 Tulsa County deputies went from patrolling the streets to shopping the isles at the Bixby Walmart on Sunday, helping kids find the right Christmas gift for their loved ones.

Deputies were paired with kids and volunteers from the Bixby Rotary Club to help provide the Christmas Wishlist.

It's something deputies say they look forward to every year.

"We really love doing it," Richie Gonzales with The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office said. "I've been a part of it since 2005. A lot of deputies...they've been doing it year after year."

Gonzales says it's rewarding to show the kids what the season of giving really means.

"To see the look on a child's face as they're shopping for their family, there is nothing like it," Gonzales said. "They get to pick out a present for their family."

Deputies and organizers say this event is not just about buying gifts, it's about building connections with law enforcement. Members of the Bixby Rotary Club say by shopping with troopers, they hope kids can see them as regular people too.

"A lot of these underprivileged kids don't see cops in the right light," Sean Krause with the Bixby Rotary Club said. "They see them as maybe the enemy...somebody who takes people away from them or maybe puts them in jail. Whereas this is just a way to find presents and see cops in a better way."

The family members aren't the only ones who have a Wishlist.

The Rotary club will also buy presents for the kids as a surprise.

For parents like Amber Peaps, this event gives them something money can't buy.

"It's a relief to know that we're going to be able to put a couple of gifts under the tree more than what we would actually be able to do ourselves," Heaps said.

Rotary Club members say the event was funded by donations from the community.